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Diabetes: It Can Play Havoc on Women’s Sex Lives

By HERWriter
 
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diabetes can play havoc on sex life for women Marin Conic/PhotoSpin

Sex is good for diabetes. However diabetes is not always good for women and sex.

And plenty of women have been finding it out. According to the Joslin Diabetes Center in Boston, more than a third of diabetic women may experience sexual dysfunction related to their disease, as reported on Health.com.

Researchers from the University of California, San Francisco, surveyed 2,270 women between the ages 40 to 80, 21 percent of whom had diabetes. The results showed that women with diabetes reported having less satisfying sex lives and experiencing more sexual health problems than women without diabetes.

The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) said that diabetes-related sexual problems may include vaginal dryness, painful sexual intercourse, reduced desire for sex and dampened arousal.

Other sexual problems include the constant or occasional inability to achieve orgasm, as well as decreased or no sensation in the genital area.

Some of these diabetic sexual issues result from diabetic neuropathy (nerve damage) to the nerves that stimulate normal sexual response.

Nerves that control internal organs are called autonomic nerves. They signal the body to digest food and circulate blood involuntarily.

The body's response to sexual stimuli is also involuntary. Autonomic nerve signals increase blood flow to the genitals and cause smooth muscle tissue to relax. Damage to these autonomic nerves can hinder normal function.

High blood sugar due to diabetes is one way to damage those blood vessels and nerves.

Diabetic neuropathy may make it difficult or impossible for diabetic women to achieve orgasm. And when neuropathy damages the nerves that stimulate genitalia, fluids aren’t released and intercourse can become painful. Using a water-soluble lubricant is often helpful.

Other techniques that can help decreased sexual response include changing sexual positions and stimulation, and performing Kegel exercises to help strengthen the pelvic muscles.

Many diabetic women take medications that bring along side effects which can dampen sexual arousal.

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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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