Sex and Diabetes
If you are a young and otherwise healthy adult, you may find that your sex life has been suffering without knowing why. Many adults who have diabetes also have problems in their sex lives. The Journal of the American Medical Association conducted a survey in 1999 and discovered that %43 percent of women with diabetes (who participated in the survey) had some sort of sexual dysfunction. This is compared to %31 of men who participated in the same study.
What Are Issues Women Face?
Many women who have diabetes can find that during their period, their blood glucose levels may be harder to control. Studies had been performed to determine the cause of this fluctuation, but until 2007 there was no hard evidence on what caused the blood sugar to become so hard to control. In 2007, ABC News had released an answer to a question from a diabetic on their website (ABC News) that concludes that hormone levels in the week before, then during a period will cause insulin resistance.
Diabetic women also might have more issues than their non-diabetic counterparts with vaginal dryness. Proper lubrication is very central to enjoying intercourse. Use of a lubricating gel can help ease these issues. Diabetic women can also have less sensation in their genitals because of nerve damage, similar to the damage that causes loss of feeling in the fingers and feet.
Men and Impotence
Trouble attaining and maintaining erection is a problem that most men who are having problems with their sex life report. This can be due to nerve damage, much like the loss of sensation women can experience. It can also be attributed to fear of performance if there have been a loss or failure to achieve an erection in a past sexual episode. One very important factor is proper blood flow, since erections are achieved by a rush of blood to the penis during arousal.
Men should speak with their doctor if they are having issues with erection. Sometimes there can be a blockage in one (or more) of the blood vessels in the penis or to the penis. This not only can cause sexual problems, but other health issues as well. Some other factors to be considered are smoking, which constricts blood vessels throughout the body, and drinking which is infamous for causing erectile dysfunction.
A diabetic who is taking insulin instead of controlling their diabetes through diet should try, if possible, to check their blood glucose before sex. It has been shown that occasionally sex can lower blood glucose levels. A small snack before and after sex may help counter this.