- Decreased lubrication of the vagina, resulting in vaginal dryness
- Pain or discomfort during intercourse
- Decreased or absent sexual desire
- Decreased pleasurable sensations
- Decreased or absent sexual response
- Difficulty experiencing orgasm or reaching climax
The good news is that having diabetes doesn’t mean saying goodbye to your sex life along with cookies and ice cream. The sexual challenges experienced by diabetic women are manageable and they can lead a fully functioning and highly pleasurable sex life.
Below are several effective treatment options and strategies available to manage diabetes-related sexual problems commonly experienced by women:
Control your blood sugar levels for optimal sexual functioning
Balancing blood sugar, ensuring glucose levels are controlled, is key to managing sexual dysfunction in women with diabetes. High blood sugar levels can result in neuropathy (nerve damage) and impaired circulation, which leads to decreased vaginal lubrication and problems reaching orgasm. High blood sugar levels make you feel low, which is hardly a mood conducive to excitement and all things sexy. So keep your blood sugar low if you want to get your libido back. Vaginal infections are a common complaint for women with diabetes. They are preventable through proper management of blood sugar levels.
How to Get Your Libido Back: Regaining Sexual Desire
Ladies, what they say about oysters being an aphrodisiac isn’t just an old wives’ tale – science actually supports the notion that consuming certain foods (like oysters, red meat, crab and cashews) containing the mineral zinc can positively affect your health. your libido, helping in the production of testosterone.
Increase clitoral sensation and genital blood flow with the use of sexual aids
Diabetes has the propensity to lessen the intensity of feelings, making sexual pleasure less potent than it used to be. Decreased blood flow to the vagina leads to decreased sexual arousal and sensation. Nerve damage and vascular changes can make diabetics not reach orgasm as easily. In practical language: what used to work perfectly well for you to reach orgasm in the past may be ineffective now, so the need to experiment with new techniques and methods is essential. The best way to promote blood flow and maximize clitoral sensation is to use a vibrator specifically aimed at the clitoris.
No matter the sexual aid, it is very important for safety reasons that they are made from medical grade silicone and free of phthalates. Many of the cheaper (hard plastic) sex toys contain phthalates, now banned by the US government.
Overcome painful or uncomfortable sex by tackling vaginal dryness
Clinical sexual health consultant and director of the Australasian Institute of Sexual Health Medicine, Brett McCann advocates the use of a sugar-free lubricant to alleviate vaginal dryness in diabetic women, as lubricants that contain sugar cause an imbalance in vaginal pH levels, potentially resulting in fungal infections. McCann advises women with diabetes to check the ingredient list before purchasing a lubricant and encourages women to choose a silicone-based lubricant. Viamax Sensitive Gel for Women is an ideal product for diabetic women with vaginal dryness, as the intimate gel not only stimulates natural lubrication and helps increase sensitivity, but also serves to promote blood flow.
If you find that a sexual lubricant is ineffective in controlling vaginal dryness, consult your doctor about whether you are eligible for the vaginal method of estrogen replacement therapy (where the hormone is released into the body through a ring placed in the vagina). .
Dealing with body image issues
Women have enough daily media triggers that push us to be body conscious, without the trip to the doctor advising diabetics to lose weight. Unsurprisingly, women with diabetes tend to experience critical feelings about their bodies, questioning their sexual desirability, which in turn can impede sexual desire (you need to feel sexy, to feel sexy!). Studies consistently indicate that a large proportion of women in today’s society are distracted by negative thoughts about body image during sex, specifically, concerns related to what their partners think about their bodies.
Seek professional support
Research published in Diabetes Care revealed that only 19% of women consult their doctors about sexual issues. The Australasian Institute of Sexual Health Medicine offers face-to-face, telephone and Skype counseling to address any sexual concerns you may be facing.
Get the support you need today and don’t let your diabetes get in the way of the fulfilling sex life you deserve.
Share your thoughts and experiences below if you feel comfortable.