April 13, 2015

Sexual Dysfunction in Men and Women – Part 1

In my research for this topic, the sources on the first ten pages were between 7 to 1 and 9 to 1 about the problem happening for men. In addition, many of the listings were about men that did not have diabetes. I don't believe for a minute that women don't have problems and I base that on TV advertising recently for products for women in menopause and post menopause to make sex less painful (diabetes not mentioned).

Out-of-control blood sugar levels can lead to blood vessel and nerve damage that hamper sexual performance and enjoyment. This can cause diabetes-related sexual dysfunction in men as well as in women. Men and women with diabetes also should be aware of sexual function issues that affect both sexes.

Other factors can cause or exacerbate sexual dysfunction, including psychological issues, self-consciousness, and fear of failure. If you are experiencing impotence or sexual dysfunction, it's important to see your doctor for an accurate diagnosis of your condition.

Sexual problems (sexual dysfunction) are common among people with diabetes, particularly in older men who have had diabetes for years. In addition, many medical experts believe that women with diabetes experience sexual difficulties as a result of complications from the disease. People who experience sexual difficulties can lead more enjoyable, fulfilling sexual lives by learning about common causes and symptoms of sexual difficulties, treatment options, and how to talk it over with a sex partner.

At any given time an estimated 30 million American men experience impotence (erectile dysfunction), defined as the inability to achieve or maintain an erection sufficient for intercourse more frequent than one out of four times. Sexual difficulties in people with diabetes are not always related to their disease.

Impotence can occur in men of any age, but it most often affects older men. A recent study of 1,300 males found some degree of erection difficulty in 52 percent of participants ages 40 to 70. Over 50 percent of the estimated 10 million men with diagnosed type 2 diabetes experience impotence. In men whose diabetes is well controlled, the rate of impotence is about 30 percent. Approximately 35 percent of women with diabetes may experience some form of sexual dysfunction related to their disease. Of people with complications from diabetes, 50 to 70 percent of men and 40 to 50 percent of women may have sexual difficulties because of nerve damage.

Sexual dysfunction in men:
  • Diabetes can cause nerve and artery damage in the genital area, disrupting the blood flow necessary for an erection. This is more common in older men who have had diabetes for a long time. High cholesterol, high blood pressure and obesity - all common among men with diabetes - as well as smoking, can contribute to the problem.
  • Some men with diabetes experience retrograde ejaculation, which means that the ejaculate goes backward into the bladder instead of being discharged during climax. This condition does not affect orgasm, but it can make it difficult to father a child.

Sexual dysfunction in women:
  • Diabetes-related nerve damage can cause vaginal dryness that makes intercourse uncomfortable.
  • Nerve damage also can lead to loss of sensation in the genital area, making orgasm difficult or impossible to achieve.

Continued in the next blog.

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