Common Questions About Diabetes and Sex


Both type 1 and type 2 diabetes can lead to complications. In some cases, sexual performance can be affected by diabetes.

Up to 50% of men and 25% of women may experience some kind of sexual problems or a loss of sexual desire as a result of diabetes.

I am a diabetic man, what kind of problems could diabetes cause to my sex life?

For men, diabetes can cause damage to the nervous system over a sustained period of time, also known as diabetic neuropathy. One aspect of this disease is that the potential for diabetes to damage the erectile tissue making it impossible for men to achieve or maintain an erection.

Almost 1 in 3 men with diabetes suffer from erectile dysfunction. Erectile dysfunction can be the way in which men discover that they have diabetes.

However, through strict management such as diet, exercise, pills and insulin injections, minor sexual problems usually recede. Therefore, it is possible for men to achieve erections.

I am a diabetic woman, what kind of problems could diabetes cause to my sex life?

For some women with diabetes, vaginitis (inflammation of the vagina) can be recurrent.

Vaginitis can be brought on by a number of different causes. They include bacterial imbalance of the vagina (bacterial vaginitis) yeast infections (thrush) or from chemical irritation, such as from soaps or fabric conditioners. This can make sex painful and is heralded by itching or burning sensations.

Cystitis can also be a recurrent problem for women with diabetes.

Furthermore, some evidence indicates that in a similar way to men being unable to maintain an erection, the woman’s clitoris may fail to respond to stimulation.

What do you need to know about hypoglycemia and sex?

Hypoglycemia can occur during sex. You may also suffer from a night time hypo as the physical exertions of sex. It means that in some ways, it will make sense to treat intercourse in a similar way to exercise.

However, testing before and after ‘getting it on’ may not help in setting the right mood. How you handle blood sugars around sex will come down to personal preference. If you have an understanding partner. it certainly helps. Anyway, how you handle things yourself is also a key.

Could my blood sugar level affect my performance?

Having high or low blood glucose levels may lead to you feeling more tired or lethargic and therefore, less up for sexual intercourse.

In men, high and low blood sugars can affect your ability to maintain erection and achieve ejaculations. In the case of hypoglycemia, this is usually easy to remedy, although it may spoil the mood.

I am worried about my diabetes’ effects on my sex life, what should I do?

The initial action one should take it to contact your doctor and have a discussion about your conditions. Often, these issues can only be addressed by seeking professional help. Most doctors will aim to assess whether your problems are physical or psychological in nature. Many cases can be helped through psychological methods.

Many men choose to use drugs to help their arousal. And some successful cases have been reported of diabetes erectile dysfunction being aided by Viagra, Cialis, and Levitra.

Can I get diabetes from my boyfriend if I have sex with him?

No, you can’t. It’s impossible to get diabetes from another person. Diabetes is a disease that develops inside the body in some people who have the genes for it. Scientists haven’t yet pinpointed exactly what causes diabetes, but they do prove it’s not contagious. You can’t “catch” it like you might a cold or mono.

You can’t get diabetes from having sex, but you can get lots of other diseases or infections — such as hepatitis, herpes, or HIV (the virus that causes AIDS). The only way to completely avoid sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) is abstinence.

Everyone can handle things in their own way: some people don’t want anyone to make a fuss or ask questions. Others want to feel understood and supported — especially by the people they feel closest to. Finding out how your loved one wants to be treated and respect their wishes is a great way to show your care.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

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