Sexual Problems And Diabetes
Bladder problems and a decreased sexual performance are all a typical part of aging, and common in the elderly. However, diabetes can cause these problems to manifest themselves well before their time. Since diabetes affects the blood vessels and nerves, it can cause problems all around the body. The sexual organs are no exception and both men and women can have difficulties engaging in intercourse due to diabetes. A correct management of blood glucose can help people with diabetes reduce the risk for any of these kinds of problems with sexual function.
In general, sexual problems related to diabetes are a consequence of the damage to blood vessels or nerves. In men, one of the most common of these is erectile dysfunction. That is, the inability or difficulty of having an erection and being able to maintain it during the period of time that is needed to complete the sexual act. Diabetes can double or even triple the risk for erectile dysfunction, and the problem can appear decades before it would normally appear as a normal part of aging. Premature erectile dysfunction, especially in men under 45, can be an early warning sign of diabetes. There are many methods to treat erectile dysfunction due to nerve damage or blood vessel damage. Psychological therapy may also be needed since this can be a traumatic experience for many men. Surgery and the implantation of an external apparatus to aid with erection is usually a last resort in these kinds of problems.
Another sexual problem in men with diabetes is retrograde ejaculation, which occurs when the semen is sent to the bladder rather than out of the urethra. This can lead to infertility and is easily diagnosed due to the presence of semen in the urine. This problem occurs when the sphincters that close off the different tubing of the urological and sexual apparatus are not working properly. This can be due to nerve damage or blood vessel damage as a result of faulty management of blood glucose. While this condition rarely harms the bladder, it may be necessary to aid in the strengthening of the muscles of the bladder sphincter. The semen in the urine may also be used to aid in artificial insemination in case of fertility problems.
It is not only men that are affected by sexual problems due to diabetes. Many women with diabetes have problems with vaginal lubrication and pain or soreness when engaging in intercourse. They have also reported a decreased libido and response to sexual stimuli. Due to nerve damage and a reduced supply of blood to the vaginal area, many women with diabetes have also reported a lack of sensation in the vaginal area, which makes it almost impossible to achieve orgasm or to receive sexual pleasure. Sexual problems derived from diabetes are a relatively unstudied field in women and only recently has it come to the attention of medical professionals. However, studies have advanced the subject substantially in the last decades and there are now various medications that can help restore partial or full function to a diabetic woman’s sexual organs.
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