Sex and Diabetes
Maintaining a healthy normal sex life with diabetes can occur, but will require discipline and dedication when trying to keep blood sugars under control. Sex is a normal part of a relationship and should not take a back seat just because there is a diagnosis of diabetes. However it is always good to have information that can help you to identify potential issues as it relates to sex, and to understand that there are ways in which to manage those issues or resolve the problems.
Here are some ways in which diabetes may affect your sex life. For instance, if you are depressed or simply are uncomfortable with the diagnosis of diabetes, and maybe being overweight, these can serve as barriers to a good healthy sex life because you may be focusing on how you see yourself and your perception of how others view you especially your partner. You may feel as though they see you as not being sexual. There is also the blame game you play with yourself, as well as the guilty feelings that often accompany any chronic disease that you are a burden to your loved ones and partner because you feel that you have forced this disease upon them. Finally, stress levels may be elevated because of having to focus on the constant management of diabetes, the costs of supplies, and other various issues that are associated with the disease.
Having to think about these things can cause your sex drive to decrease and must be addressed and corrected in order to get back to a normal healthy sex life. It is important to note that talking to your partner about your feelings and concerns is one way to tackle the problem, along with speaking with your health care provider since they can put you in contact with someone that can assist you in this area, perhaps a counselor who specializes in relationships. The point is to realize that having diabetes is not the beginning of the end and with good management and a healthy emotional outlook; anyone can live a long, healthy satisfying life.
Helen A. Jenkins RN, CDE