Monday, December 15, 2008

When sugar becomes a problem in your sex life

When a person is healthy, sex problems may surface only once in a while. But sex is greatly affected when a person has a long-standing disease.

Diabetes, for instance, affects a woman’s sexual libido, lubrication, and ability to achieve orgasm; it causes impotence in men, on the other hand. According to studies, sexual dysfunction caused by diabetes is more prevalent in women (at 43%) than in men (at 31%). This remains a silent problem especially for women, especially since women do not talk to their doctors about it, and neither are doctors discussing it with their female patients. As a result, sexual problems caused by diabetes remain unnoticed.

- Diabetes causes a woman to get vaginal lubrication problems, making intercourse difficult. It becomes painful for the vagina when the man inserts his member, rendering sex a negative experience for the couple. Her partner might think she dislikes sex when she might actually be craving for it, but her vagina just can’t take it. When a woman has diabetes, the pleasurable feeling from genital stimulation is replaced with discomfort and pain.

- Tiny blood vessels in the vagina are also affected, inhibiting the intimate sensation. Uncontrolled sugar levels destroy “myelin” (nerve covering), usually resulting to numbness or a tingling sensation, and may impact the nerves in the pelvis—which are directly connected to sexual stimulation.

- Women with diabetes are prone to yeast and other urinary tract infections. The vagina is moist and warm, which are among the conditions for yeast to develop; add excess sugar to the equation and you have the ideal breeding ground for yeast. This makes love-making uncomfortable even if the infection has been cured. It produces vaginal irritation and a painful burning sensation—enough to make a woman want to avoid sex for a long time. To make it worse, the longer a woman goes without having sex, the more difficult and sometimes painful it can be for her to begin doing the act again.

These are just some of the sexual problems a diabetic woman faces; we haven’t even mentioned the depression it results to.

But there are some things you can do if you’re in this dilemma.

- Start with consulting your doctor about your bedroom problems. Doctors will help you regulate your blood sugar through medication and lifestyle modifications. Don’t be shy about giving specifics; don’t hide. Talk to your endocrinologist and gynecologist. It will surely make a difference.

- Talk to your partner. You have to be honest about your condition and things you can and cannot do. If he loves you, he will surely understand and will take care of you. A loving relationship conquers all.

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