Can diabetes affect your sex life? Expert answers

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Diabetes is a metabolic disease that occurs when your blood glucose – also called blood sugar – is higher than normal. It could increase the risk for several other illnesses such as cardiovascular problems, kidney failure and stroke, among others.

But, did you know that diabetes can also affect the sex life of men and women? According to American Diabetes Association, diabetics are at a greater risk for sexual problems. Explaining the same, Dr Ritesh Gupta, Director, Diabetes and Endocrinology, Fortis CDOC Hospital, New Delhi said, “Diabetes can adversely affect sex life because of its effect on nerves, circulation, and hormones. Also, the stress of dealing with the a chronic disease can impair sex life.”

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Impact on men

The expert shared that diabetes can predispose men to erectile dysfunction and a reduction in sexual desire. “High blood sugars can affect the nerves and blood circulation and cause problems in erection.”

Additionally, testosterone levels may be low in uncontrolled diabetes, leading to erectile dysfunction and low libido.

Impact on women

In women, too, diabetes can lead to a reduction in sexual desire.

sexual health, diabetes, sex life It may also cause genital infection among women (Source: Getty Images/Thinkstock)

“Women with diabetes can have a reduction in sexual desire. Uncontrolled sugars may cause genital infection which may hamper sexual activity,” Dr Gupta added.

Prevention and treatment

To prevent the development of these complications, the expert suggested adequate control of sugar levels, a balanced diet and exercise.

“Individuals with diabetes and sexual problems need proper evaluation. There are effective treatments available for these issues. Men with low hormone levels sometimes need testosterone replacement, however, these need to be taken only after expert advice,” he concluded.

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