How does Diabetes affect your sexual health?

On 24 September 2020 by Droobi

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Diabetes is one of the most prevalent lifestyle diseases around the world. And, among the health complications of poorly managed diabetes are the sexual ones, which unfortunately may be disregarded in education sessions because of the discomfort they bring to the conversation.

However, in this week’s blog, we bring the spotlight on some of these common complications because the key to prevention is awareness!

Sexual problems in men

Erectile dysfunction is a common diabetes complication in men with poorly managed diabetes. It is the inability to achieve or maintain an erection caused by a reduced blood flow and nerve damage. Medications that enhance blood flow are available yet they may not be suitable for men with high blood pressure or heart disease. Mechanical methods and surgery are also an option here.

Also, men with poorly managed diabetes might often experience genital thrush, a fungal yeast infection caused by the excess sugar in the urine for a period of time. Cream or tablet medications can help with this issue.

Sexual problem in women

Women living with poorly controlled diabetes may experience complications such as decreased sexual desire, vaginal dryness, pain during sex, urinary tract infection, frequent yeast infection and polycystic ovary syndrome. Several treatments such as using vaginal lubricants, hormone replacement therapy and others are found to help women with these issues.

Though women diagnosed with diabetes are often concerned about their fertility, it is not commonly seen as a problem if their diabetes is well-managed. But, difficulty in conceiving can be due to factors such as difficulty having a normal sexual life, polycystic ovary syndrome, being overweight…

Sexual problems hugely affect the quality of life of people and thus need more attention and care in education sessions as well as in follow up and health check-up sessions. The best treatment here is the prevention and that can be done by targeting the root cause: the high blood sugar levels. Therefore, the importance of discussing an appropriate short- and long-term health plan with your health care team cannot be stressed enough.