Is diabetes ruining your love life?

It's a subject that often remains hush-hush among diabetes patients: the suffering sex life.

And while it's completely normal for sexual health to be impacted by diabetes, many people aren't speaking up to doctors about their concerns.

Dr Edward Ddumba, The Executive Director of the National Referral Hospital in Uganda, says that the issue is one that can be managed, and relationships don't need to suffer just because a diabetes diagnosis is suddenly the third wheel in the bedroom.

How does diabetes affect sexual health?

Diabetes can impact the female body's sex organs in several ways, causing reduced lubrication, fungal infections, reduced sensation in the genitals and decreased desire for sex. The disease can also negatively influence the amount of pleasure women get from sex and can increase the time it takes to climax.

For men, diabetes can cause erectile dysfunction, which is caused by damage to the nerves and blood vessels of the penis.

In addition, general body fatigue or the stress of having a chronic illness may affect one's sex life, Dr. Ddumba says.

Avoiding long-term problems

Healthy lifestyle choices may help offset chronic symptoms or sexual-related problems.

"These effects can be avoided or at least delayed by observing optimal blood sugar control through a healthy diet, regular exercise and anti-blood sugar medications as prescribed by the physician," Dr. Ddumba said in an article on The New Vision.

In addition, couples should communicate openly about sexual issues and anticipate that there might be an adjustment period after a diabetes diagnosis. Avoiding alcohol and maintaining good sexual hygiene will also help.

"Solutions should be found together in a spirit of love and mutual respect," Dr. Ddumba concluded.

Source: The New Vision

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