Sexual Health

How Diabetes Can Affect Your Sex Life

Oct 22, 2023
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How Diabetes Can Affect Your Sex Life

Diabetes results from an excess of sugar in the blood. While its two main types cause high blood sugar through different mechanisms, the health toll from uncontrolled blood glucose is similar for each.

Many of these health effects can impact the sex lives of those involved. The reasons are many, but solutions for most issues start with careful control of blood sugar levels, the primary treatment for diabetes.

Since sexual function involves the genitourinary systems for both women and men, it’s common for a urologist to be part of your diabetes management team. In Houston and Nassau Bay, Texas, your best choice is Gulf Coast Urology.

Causes of diabetes

Type 1 diabetes stems from an inability of the body to make the hormone insulin, which signals to the cells of the body when it’s time for them to absorb sugar from the bloodstream. Without this signal, glucose accumulates in the blood and begins to cause damage throughout the body, affecting blood vessels and nerve tissue.

When a person develops type 2 diabetes, high blood sugar levels cause insulin resistance. The body still makes insulin, but cells start to ignore the signals to consume glucose, and levels in the blood start to climb.

How high blood sugar affects sexuality

Both women and men may feel chronically tired when they have diabetes, as well as suffering from other health complications connected to high blood glucose levels. Diabetes treatments, including both insulin and non-insulin medications, can create low blood sugar episodes resulting in dizziness and weakness.

Anyone with diabetes carries an increased risk of mood disorders like depression and anxiety, which, in turn, could lead to feelings of low self-esteem.

Any of these effects are enough to interfere with a person’s libido and desire to have sex. There are also diabetes complications that directly interfere with the ability to have sex for both genders.

Effects on women

Women with diabetes are more susceptible to genital infections including urinary tract infections (UTIs), cystitis, and thrush, any of which can interfere with the desire for or interest in sex.

Diabetic neuropathy (nerve damage) can occur throughout the body. When it occurs in and around a woman’s genitalia, it can interfere with sexual response and arousal. The release of natural lubrication may be slowed or blocked, resulting in discomfort or pain during sex.

Effects on men

Erectile dysfunction (ED) is the primary sexual health issue for men that’s connected with diabetes. This can be as a result of damage to blood vessels, damage to nerves, or both, making it difficult to achieve or sustain an erection. Being overweight is connected both with ED and with type 2 diabetes, so a man could face multiple conditions that aggravate sexual function.

Taking charge of your sex life starts with achieving the best possible control of your blood sugar levels to minimize the impact of the disease on your body. When you have urological issues that interfere with your enjoyment or ability to have sex, book a consultation with the experts at Gulf Coast Urology. You can reach the nearest office by phone or by using the appointment request link on this page. Schedule a session today.

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Book your personalized care

To access the best, most comprehensive urological care, partner with the team at Gulf Coast Urology. Request your appointment today by calling the office or clicking the online booking tool.

Gulf Coast Urology patient and doctor