Erectile dysfunction, known colloquially as impotence, is a common secondary disease of diabetes. After several years of the disease, roughly every second man has erectile dysfunction. The issue of diabetes and sexual dysfunction is something worth talking about, in my humble opinion.
Doctors diagnose erectile dysfunction if a man has not had a satisfactory sex life for six months because his manhood is not stiff or not stiff enough for the action. In some instances, it does not stand on for the duration of the sexual act.
Sexual dysfunction is more common in people with diabetes than in people without. Let me reiterate here that sexual dysfunction, such as orgasm or ejaculation disorders, occurs in half of all men with diabetes.
About a third of women with diabetes develop sexual dysfunction in the course of their life, including decreased desire or pain during intercourse. However, the data on incidence in women is incomplete and there may be more women with diabetes suffering from sexual dysfunction.
Causes of Sexual Dysfunction
Regarding patients with diabetes, the starting point is often damage to the nerves (neuropathy) or blood vessels (macroangiopathy). A testosterone deficiency can also be involved. High blood pressure, lipid metabolism disorders, and smoking also promote erectile dysfunction. Medicines can also play a role.
In addition to organic causes, psychological factors often play a role in impotence. Often the two influences cannot be clearly separated.
In a nutshell, the reasons for the occurrence of sexual dysfunction are many, especially when it comes to diabetes and sexual dysfunction. It can be triggered or exacerbated by diabetes-related nerve damage, circulatory or hormonal disorders. Certain medications can make the situation worse.
However, impaired sexual function often has many other reasons that are not limited to diabetes disease. Unbalanced needs with your partner, stress at work, and phases of depression are some of the circumstances that lead to unsatisfied sexual performance.
In this case, a discussion with a doctor should be held in good time and with a low threshold and support should be sought at an early stage.
Good to know:
Sexual disorders are not infrequently a consequence of diabetes.
Sexual dysfunction in men with diabetes
Older men who have had diabetes for many years and who have poor blood sugar management or additional illnesses such as high blood pressure or high cholesterol levels are very often affected.
Sexual dysfunction in men can be of different types:
- Erectile dysfunction
- Ejaculation disorders
- Orgasmic disorders
Erectile Dysfunction in People with Diabetes
With erectile dysfunction, also called impotence, the penis cannot achieve or maintain an erection sufficient for sexual intercourse. Erectile dysfunction is the primary problem in 50 percent of men with sexual dysfunction.
In diabetes, poor blood sugar control can lead to more frequent and earlier erectile dysfunction. Other risks are obesity, smoking, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol levels.
The obvious thing to do is to check with your doctor. For further treatment, such as tablets, syringes, or stimulators, those affected should be referred to a specialist in urology. Therapy for diabetes, for example, better blood sugar control, a balanced diet, regular exercise, or weight loss, are also important. Psychotherapeutic support can often be useful in diabetes and sexual dysfunction.
How is sexual dysfunction treated in men with diabetes?
Effective prescription drugs for treating erectile dysfunction in men with diabetes (diabetes and sexual dysfunction) are called PDE-5 inhibitors (phosphodiesterase type 5 inhibitors). The intake must always be discussed with a doctor in order to avoid health risks and to weigh possible side effects.
In addition to tablets, there are mechanical erection aids such as vacuum pumps or the possibility of injecting vasodilating substances into the erectile tissue of the penis or applying them through the urethra. These methods are also not free of side effects and can be unpleasant to administer.
In the case of a proven testosterone deficiency, hormone replacement therapy can be used, which should only be carried out after a thorough examination and under medical supervision.
In very rare cases, and when there is an urgent desire for potency, surgical interventions can help if all alternatives have previously been unsuccessful.
Sexual dysfunction in women with diabetes
The effects of diabetes on the sexual life of women with diabetes and sexual dysfunction are unclear. So far, little is known about the impact of blood sugar management and the duration one has had diabetes.
However, a number of symptoms of sexual dysfunction can be increased in women with diabetes. This may include the following:
- Decreased excitability or ability to orgasm
- Decreased sexual desire
- Painful intercourse
- Decreased vaginal moisture
These disorders in women with diabetes often lead to worsening psychological factors, for example, a depressive episode.
In order to better classify whether a sexual disorder is present, the affected woman should speak to her doctor.
In addition, those affected can be examined by a gynecologist upon the request of the doctor or the patient.
How is sexual dysfunction treated in women with diabetes?
For women, there are so-called vaginal or pelvic floor trainers, which strengthen the muscles and blood flow in the pelvic floor and can thus help with continence and orgasm problems.
In the case of lubrication disorders, i.e. insufficient moisture in the mucous membranes, lubricants or hormonally locally effective creams with the active ingredient estriol can help. Sex hormones in the form of patches, vaginal capsules, or tablets can also be tried under medical supervision.
What to do
Diabetes, just like any other chronic disease, can impact the sexual life of the sufferer. Whether you are a man or a woman who is diabetic, the sure way to ensure you have a terrific sex life is to constantly keep all medical appointments and speak to your doctor, if ever in doubt.