Chapter 6: Maintaining Your Overall Health
Diabetes and Intimacy
Intimacy and sexual function are an important part of
life. But over time, high blood glucose can contribute
to physical problems that affect intimacy, such as
erectile dysfunction (ED). The good news is that ED
can be treated.
What You Can Do
If you are experiencing ED, talk to your health
care provider. It may be that your diabetes
management plan needs changes. Your health
care provider might also prescribe a medication
specifically for ED.
Vaginal dryness is twice as common in women with diabetes as it is in women without
diabetes and is one of the main reasons women with diabetes have discomfort during sex.
It’s also a result of aging and is very common among women who are menopausal or
postmenopausal. In the cases of vaginal dryness resulting from menopause, a lack of
estrogen can be the cause of dryness, and problems may be treated with medications
prescribed by your health care provider. Better lubrication may be one solution. However,
researchers don’t understand exactly why women’s bodies lose the ability to self-lubricate
when menopause isn’t the cause. Each woman’s individual medical situation needs to be
carefully discussed with her health care provider to make the best decision for her.
If You’re Thinking of Pregnancy
Diabetes can also increase risk to a mother
and baby during pregnancy, so be sure to
talk with your health care provider any
time you have concerns about your blood
glucose and its impact on your health and
quality of life.