How Sex and Type 2 Diabetes affects Male and Female Sexuality
Let’s talk about sex and how type 2 diabetes affects your sexuality whether you be male or female. Isn’t it as important as diabetic diets, blood sugar levels and physical activity? Many people aren’t even aware there’s a link between diabetes related medical problems and sexual issues. Your sex life doesn’t have to stop with a diagnosis of Type 2 diabetes. While getting cozy in the sheets may present some challenges, many sexual problems due to this can be treated if caught in time.
Sexual function in both males and females is incredibly complex and, as you are aware, involves a number of physical and emotional responses. The addition of type 2 diabetes may make extra planning and adjustment necessary. Let’s put the male first … does diabetes cause erectile dysfunction?
Well, yes it can. It’s not unusual for a man over 50 to have some degree of impotency, or erectile dysfunction. It is often this factor that drives men to see their health care provider and after many other symptoms have been ignored, this is the one symptom that helps with the diagnosis of diabetes. There is an increased risk of impotency in men who have had diabetes for many years.
Why does this happen:
As a result of damage to the blood vessels, restricting the flow of blood required to create an erection.
As a result of damage to the nerves, resulting in a lessening of sensation
some diabetic medications taken.
There are also medications taken for related issues like high blood pressure or high cholesterol.
Drinking too much and smoking can also cause erectile dysfunction.
Although male sexual problems get the most coverage, women have diabetes-related sexual issues also. Often women with type 2 diabetes consider themselves to be less sexually attractive, were less happy and dissatisfied with their sexual partner and sex life in general.
- Are more likely to to avoid sex with their partner
- were less likely to lubricate adequately
- experience a lessening of sexual response due to nerve damage
The first line of defense against diabetes-related sexual difficulties, as with all diabetes complications, is to have tight control over your blood sugar levels. So following a healthy diet, exercising regularly, not smoking and losing weight are the base line treatments for type 2
What should a man do when affected by erectile dysfunction?
Diabetes Reduces Libido
Symptoms of diabetes often include dizziness, drowsiness, fatigue and low energy levels. For libido and sexual health in men these factors certainly do not point to a fulfilling sex life. According to researchers from Oxford University (UK), it is common for men with diabetes to experience problems with libido.
After surveying 253 male patients with type 2 diabetes the researchers found that over 70% experience some degree of erectile dysfunction; while the most common problems experienced by the participants were premature ejaculation and reduced libido.
Russian researchers tested the peripheral circulation in 564 patients suffering from type 1 and type 2 diabetes, as well as atherosclerosis. Patients with diabetes were found to have significantly impaired microcirculation, affected negatively by triglycerides and blood coagulation.
These factors make the blood thicker, more congealed and less easy to flow through the circulatory pathways: this is especially true in obese male patients with a large waist circumference, making blood flow to the peripheries and to the penis more slowly and inefficiently.
However exercise, increased water intake, circulatory stimulants (cayenne, ginger, ginkgo and bilberry), anti-coagulants and blood thinning medication may well improve circulation to the male reproductive system.
It is vital to address the cause as quickly as possible to gain best possible chance of a return to a normal libido.
Controlling diabetic symptoms is therefore the most important step in improving sexual function.
Diabetes is a complicated condition that can be very difficult to control, but that is no reason for men to give up living a healthy and enjoyable sex life.
Insulin medication, exercise, healthy low GI foods, complementary medicines, and strong mental health, are all important factors for improving blood sugar levels, and with it, libido and sexual function.
Various nutrients, such as vitamins C and E as well as chromium and selenium are useful for managing blood sugar levels.
In addition some plant medicines including gymnema, fenugreek, goat’s rue, bilberry and green tea have been found to improve insulin sensitivity and blood sugar control. Use these circumspectly however, as they may lower blood sugar levels, which is an undesirable effect in men whose blood sugar levels are properly balanced.
If, in spite of your best efforts, problems persist … talk to your health care provider … he may send you to a urologist for evaluation. There are several ways to help resolve this issue:
There are vacuum erection devices.
There are collagen injections which causes the penis to enlarge.
Surgical implants are available..
and of course, Viagra, Levitra and Cialis … all anti-impotency drugs which are approved by the FDA that you can ask your doctor about.
Now it’s the lady’s turn:
First, one thought is that as type 2 diabetes occurs later in life if may have a negative psychological effect and self-esteem becomes damaged. If this is so, then some kind of counseling should be in order.
There are creams available such as KY that can aid lubrication issues.
Ask your health care provider about plant based bio identical replacement hormones to replace estrogen.
These are tiny (rice sized) pellets which are derived from naturally occurring sources such as soy or yams. They are injected under your skin and release an exact-match replica of hormones that your body used to produce but now produces less of.
Bio identical hormones have gained popularity over the last two decades, helping men and women achieve hormonal balance without the side effects commonly associated with synthetic hormones.
Talk with your health care provider
So, whether you are a male or female with type 2 diabetes, don’t hesitate to bring up the subject of sex or sexual dysfunction with your health care provider.
There are treatments available for both men and women to help you enjoy a more satisfying sex life. And don’t forget those blood sugar levels. Sexual problems or not, the first line of treatment for type 2 diabetes is weight loss as 90% diagnosed with type 2 diabetes are overweight!
Make good choices, exercise at least 3x per week and watch your sugar levels. Good health leads to better sex and good sex leads to better happier health!