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Sexual Health and Women with Diabetes

By Marianne Tetlow
 
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diabetic women and sexual health
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As a woman with diabetes are you tuned in to your sexual health? Although these issues are not commonly discussed, women with diabetes are likely to experience more difficulties with their sex lives than women without diabetes.

There are many causes from the emotional, physical and mental aspects. EmpowHer is a great forum to discuss such concerns.

From the physical perspective, both higher blood glucose values (BG) and neuropathy can interfere with a woman’s sex life.

Higher BG in the body can cause decreased lubrication promoting vaginal dryness. This can cause discomfort during intercourse.

Neuropathy that may be present can also affect sensations during intercourse. Damage to the small blood vessels that flow to the pelvic region if damaged, can decrease the sensations during intercourse.

Women with diabetes are also more likely to develop yeast infections and urinary tract infections as well.

From the emotional perspective, there can be many factors that influence how a woman feels when intimate. Bruising or discoloration from both injections as well as insulin pumps can interfere with a woman’s perceptions of her physical attractiveness.

If she is a pump-wearer or wears a Continuous Glucose Monitor (CGM) the insertion site and device itself might impact her self-esteem. Sometimes these insertion sites or injection sites can be tender to the touch, as well.

Many women have a fear of an unplanned pregnancy with diabetes. Most are told to prepare their blood glucose levels prior to conception.

The baby’s health is improved if the mother is in excellent BG control with proper amounts of prenatal vitamins and folic acid prior to conception. The correct form of birth control for a diabetic woman can vary over time and through changes in lifestyle.

Fluctuating blood glucose levels can impact desire or endurance. Hypoglycemic reactions require stopping and eating a snack or carbohydrate source. Episodes of hyperglycemia can result in additional fatigue and loss of desire.

The mental fatigue of living with diabetes can also cause a woman to be weary and have the feeling of being overwhelmed.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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