Men and women who are type 1 and type 2 diabetics sometimes have sexual problems. Sexual dysfunction is common to people who have diabetic neuropathy in the genitourinary region of the body. Diabetes mellitus sometimes causes damage to the nerves and blood vessels of many regions of the body, including the sexual organs. It can be quite frustrating for men and women who cannot share intimate contact with each other due to the complications associated with diabetes.
Men with diabetes mellitus type 1 and type 2 sometimes have problems achieving an erection. Men may have the desire to have sexual contact, but cannot physically have contact due to erectile sexual problems. Women often have other sexual problems that include vaginal dryness and an inability to feel aroused. There are ways to prevent or reduce the intensity of sexual problems in diabetics.
- Men and women who keep their diabetes under control have fewer sexual problems. It is important to keep up with your blood sugar level according to a set routine. You should stay on your prescribed number of calories per day.
- You should get regular exercise at least 3 times a week. If you are able to walk, a 15 to 20 minute walk, combined with a healthy diet will help keep your blood glucose levels in check.
- Men and women with sexual problems should consult with their physician. As a man, you may feel embarrassed to speak to your health care provider about your erectile dysfunction, or other sexual problems; however, your doctor can help you. If your doctor can’t help you, he/she can refer you to a doctor who can help you. As a woman, you may also feel embarrassed to mention your sexual issues to your doctor. There is no need to feel embarrassed about your sexual issues, because having sex is good for your physical and mental health. If your doctor can help you get back to a satisfying life.
- It is very important to report sexual dysfunction to your doctor. Some functions of your body are under your conscious control, but other functions of your body, such as your breathing, heartbeat, and sexual response are controlled by your autonomic nervous system. The autonomic nervous system is not under your control, so you may not be able to respond sexually until you are treated medically.
- Diabetic testing is important to properly diagnose and treat your diabetes. When the symptoms of diabetes are under control through diet, exercise, and medication (if indicated), you are likely to have better sexual responses.
- Many people who have diabetes type 1 and type 2 often have hypertension. If your doctor prescribed blood pressure medicine, it is important that you take your medicine routinely as ordered by your physician. High blood pressure can also influence sexual response. Sometimes, just taking care of yourself the way you are supposed to, as a diabetic, is all that is necessary to have better sexual experiences.
- Smoking negatively impacts a person with diabetes mellitus. If you cannot quit on your own, you should ask your doctor what type of stop smoking treatment is safe for you to use. Many people have good results with the “stop smoking” patches and gums. Other people have success through hypnosis and other means.
- If you drink alcohol, you may need to limit the amount that you drink. Alcohol metabolizes in the liver slowly and can lower your blood sugar, which in turn could cause you to lose consciousness from hypoglycemia, and could cause other medical issues.
If you do not yet have diabetes, you should live a healthy lifestyle, which includes a healthy diet, exercise, no use of tobacco products, and limiting alcohol consumption. It is much easier to prevent diabetes mellitus type 1 and type 2 than it is to treat it. If you do have diabetes, following your doctor’s orders concerning treatment of your diabetes, and living a healthy lifestyle may help you prevent or alleviate sexual problems.