Diabetes and Sexual Dysfunction


When your blood sugar levels are elevated for an extended length of time, it might lead to sexual dysfunction. whether they have diabetes, most individuals will experience sexual issues at some point in their life. And just because you have diabetes doesn’t imply you’ll have problems. People with diabetes, on the other hand, are more likely to experience sexual dysfunction (problems when you have sex). It’s one of the consequences of diabetes, and it occurs as a result of excessive blood sugar, blood pressure, and blood fat levels (cholesterol).

Diabetes is a growing concern that has been linked to a variety of sexual issues in both men and women. Diabetes includes a variety of end-organ consequences as well as a significant psychological impact, which may predispose diabetics to sexual issues. Erectile Dysfunction (ED) is widespread among diabetic men, and these men tend to have more severe and refractory ED than their non-diabetic counterparts. While erectile dysfunction (ED) is the most well-known diabetes-related sexual dysfunction, ejaculatory and sexual desire problems can also affect men with diabetes. Sexual dysfunction is also a danger for diabetic women.

Sexual dysfunction in females:

1. Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder (HSDD, characterized by a lack of interest in sex and/or susceptibility to sexual initiation by a partner)

2. Female Sexual Arousal Disorder, which can be further subdivided into Female Cognitive Arousal Disorder (difficulty sustaining mental/emotional arousal responses) and Female Genital Arousal Disorder (difficulty maintaining sexual arousal responses) (difficulty with maintaining genital arousal responses).

3. Persistent Genital Arousal Disorder (PGAD) is a kind of persistent genital arousal disorder (unwanted and intrusive feelings of genital arousal)

4. Female Orgasm Disorder (FOD) is a condition in which a woman experiences (a compromise of orgasm frequency or intensity).

5. Vaginal dryness: When you have diabetes, you may experience a lot of vaginal dryness. High blood sugar levels might harm the blood vessels in your vaginal area. There is a lack of lubrication as a result of this. As a result, sex can be quite unpleasant. Restricted blood flow and nerve injury might also cause you to feel less stimulated.

6. Thrush: Thrush is a fungal condition that affects mostly women. Although it is not a sexually transmitted infection (STI), it can be transferred through sex. Anyone can develop it, but those with diabetes and high blood sugar are more prone to have it. This is because a lot of sugar in your urine provides an ideal environment for the bacteria that cause thrush to thrive.

Sexual dysfunction in males:

Men with diabetes usually develop erectile dysfunction 10-15 years prior than men without diabetes, and as their age increases, erectile dysfunction becomes more common. Erectile dysfunction in men with diabetes is caused by a variety of factors, including nerve, blood vessel, and muscle dysfunction.

Men require healthy blood vessels, nerves, male hormones, and a desire to be sexually aroused to develop an erection. The blood vessels and nerves that govern erection might be damaged by diabetes. As a result, even if you have normal levels of male hormones and the desire to have sex, you might not be able to get a strong erection.

High blood sugar levels, especially those that supply your penis, can harm your blood vessels and nerves over time. This might cause a reduction in blood supply to your genital organs, causing you to lose sensation. This might indicate that you have trouble getting aroused, both physically and emotionally.

Risk factors associated with erectile dysfunction are poor management of blood sugar levels, stress, anxiety, depression, poor diet, obesity, inactivity, smoking, excessive consumption of alcohol, and abnormal blood lipid profile.

Sexual dysfunctions common in both- males and females:

1.  Obesity can cause erectile dysfunction in the long run (ED). Sleep apnea can cause ED in males and increase the risk of sexual problems in women. Depression and anxiety can decrease libido and lead to the usage of medications that influence sexual desire or function.

2.  Concerns about emotional health: Insulin pump users, both men, and women, may feel self-conscious. Furthermore, the time and effort spent controlling diabetes and associated illnesses can have a negative impact on mental well-being. This might lead to a lack of desire in sex or the usage of a drug that has a detrimental impact on sexual function.

3.  Hormonal changes: Changes in testosterone or oestrogen (due to diabetes, menopause, or other co-existing illnesses) can affect libido, lubrication, and the capacity to get sexually aroused.

4.  Poor blood flow: Diabetes affects blood flow, which may alter blood flow to the penis or vaginal area. Blood flow to the penis is required for a man to develop and maintain an erection. Vaginal dryness in women may be caused by a reduction in blood flow.

5.  Nerve damage: Nerve injury can occur when blood glucose levels are too high. The clitoris and the tip of the penis are densely packed with nerves. If those nerves are injured, diminished sexual feeling or even painful intercourse may follow.

Taking the above context into consideration, it is necessary to see a doctor when you notice changes within yourself. 

Diabetes and Sexual Dysfunction