World Diabetes Day is celebrated on November 14 and that is why we want to let you know that excess sugar in your daily diet, beyond making you fat, can have some negative consequences on your desire and sexual performance.
Diabetes is a chronic disease It originates because the pancreas does not synthesize the amount of insulin that the human body needs , produces it of an inferior quality or is not able to use it effectively.
It is a disease that is increasing and can cause serious health complications and even death. According to the International Diabetes Federation (IDF), in 2019, 463 million adults (1 in 11) were living with diabetes, causing 4.2 million deaths. Also, to give us an idea of the scope of this chronic disease, today 1 in 2 adults with diabetes remains undiagnosed (232 million). And the number of people living with diabetes is expected to rise to 578 million by 2030.
Since we have the purpose of caring for #TuSaludIntima, we will address in this article the effect of this disease on the sexuality of men and women and the possible solutions for those who are affected.
To understand how diabetes can affect sexuality, it is necessary to know how the sexual response operates:
It begins with desire: and the activation of all the stimuli (visual, olfactory, tactile, hearing, etc.) that unleash a series of thoughts and fantasies with the partner that lead to the excitement phase.
Excitation : during this time the blood floods the genital area causing the penis to grow; the vulva dilates and the vagina lubricates. Muscles tense, body temperature increases, heart rate and blood pressure increase. In men, there is a sensation of pressure and heat in the pelvis; while in women, the breasts grow, the vagina expands, and vascular congestion in the labia minora increases.
The orgasm: then a feeling of tension appears that is released with the orgasm, which is easily recognizable because it causes intense pleasure and contractions in the genital area and ejaculation occurs.
The Resolution: and it all ends when the body returns to normal. In the case of men, the refractory period appears, those minutes that you must wait to become excited again immediately.
The sexual problems that Diabetes brings:
- The sexual response involves different organs and body systems that are affected by the presence of diabetes. For example, high blood glucose levels cause tiredness, which can undermine sexual desire;
- Diabetes affects the blood supply preventing it from reaching the genitals, making it difficult for the man to achieve and maintain an erection;
- Diabetes in women causes a lack of lubrication and vaginal expansion that cause pain during sexual intercourse and the inability to reach an orgasm (what is called anorgasmia);
- Another impact of diabetes in women according to the IDF tells us that 1 in 6 live births (20 million women) are affected by high blood glucose levels (hyperglycemia) during pregnancy.
- Sexual functioning is also affected by psychological factors; such as self-esteem problems, anxiety and depression caused by the implications of diabetes in daily life;
- The person with this disease may feel insecure , perceived sick and unattractive, which reduces the desire to be intimate with the partner;
Despite the fact that a good number of patients with diabetes present some type of sexual dysfunction , most do not dare to speak openly with their doctor. That is why it is very important to overcome this barrier and at the first signs of a sexual problem go to the doctor. Timely and adequate care allows a person with diabetes to have a satisfactory sexual life.
What can patients with diabetes do to take care of their sexuality?
In the case of men whose sexuality is affected by diabetes, there are medications such as drugs that increase blood flow in the male genitalia (such as sildenafil), which help to resolve the erection situation in men. The use of these medications should always be under strict medical supervision.
To address women's vaginal dryness , there are intimate gels such as #Zenzsual , which lubricate and regenerate tissues that are affected, weakened and diminished by diabetes; and that are also the cause of discomfort during penetration, solving vaginal dryness and pain.
The use of #Zenzsual gel is very helpful, because it has high concentrations of hyaluronic acid which nourishes, hydrates, and regenerates the skin of the external genitalia. It recomposes the vaginal mucosa deeply, being absorbed without leaving any type of residue on the skin, relieving the sensation of irritation, itching or burning of the genitals.
Hyaluronic acid is part of the natural ground substance of our body . It is responsible for retaining water in the skin keeping it hydrated, helping wound healing. It is important to preserve the natural elasticity of the skin and vaginal mucosa, keeping it firm and hydrated. In addition, its ingredients restore the vaginal pH to its natural value, reducing the risk of infections.
On the other hand, in men as in women, diabetes can cause sexual problems of psychological origin . In these cases it is important to complement the attention of the doctors, going to a specialist in the area. At #TuSaludIntima we have#SexCoaching sessions that will help you address the situation with a professional vision, analyzing the person's sexual history, the situation causing the inhibition of desire, if there are insecurities, discomfort in the couple, depression or stress. And later, based on his analysis, he will propose alternative solutions to best cope with the health situation caused by diabetes and safeguard the relationship.
The reality is that, if you do not receive adequate and timely care, there is a risk that the health problem will worsen and the relationship deteriorates.
Recommendations to maintain a healthy sexuality when you suffer from diabetes:
- Step 1: Carry out the rigorous medical check-ups to confirm the diagnosis of diabetes, as indicated by your trusted doctor.
- Step 2 : comply with the treatment to the letter, taking care of your diet and lifestyle, combined with physical exercise.
- Step 3 : pay attention to the possible symptoms or changes in your body and especially to the sexual response you have, to identify any possible sexual dysfunction.
- Step 4: if your sexuality is affected, seek the help of your family doctor, a gynecologist in the case of women, a sexologist and a psychologist if necessary. The idea is to validate the recommendations with support professionals and do what best applies to your case.
- Step 5: Treat the symptoms of diabetes with the measures that your doctor recommends and that you have in your hands. From the use of the intimate gel, seek the greatest stimulation of the senses to promote arousal, attend to the fatigue caused by the disease itself and everything within your reach in terms of desire and stimulation.
- Step 6 : Communicate with your partner so that together you can resolve the situation. The idea is that both of you can understand what diabetes is all about and how it can affect your sexuality. And to help you implement care measures and solve symptoms (under medical advice), either from helping you with the application of the intimate gel to combat dryness, or in his case, you understand why sometimes you have to take the famous blue pill.
In any case, the most important thing is to find out correctly and seek professional help, since many times patients with diabetes forget or are unaware of the effects it has on their sexuality, and inadvertently leave their intimate relationships aside, when we all know that the Sexual intimacy is an important part of the well-being of the integral human being from adulthood onwards.
In the content that we share through our social networks @TuSaludIntima and that of whom we speak to you through this means, Dr. Sofía Herrera @Tu_ginecologa and Dr. Klara Senior @DoctoraKlaraSenior, we will continue to share information that will help you overcome the health situations that they put barriers to your sexuality, your intimate life and your relationship.