The Gist of It:
- Diabetes affects the blood flow and nerve sensitivity causing erectile issues.
- Erectile dysfunction is the most common sexual problem in Malaysia, affecting 16 – 47% of the population.
- There are various methods to treat or cope with erectile problems.
Sex, penis, and breasts. Now that we’ve gotten over the awkwardness, let’s take a look at how diabetes can affect your sex life. People always assume that because they have a health condition, sex becomes a worry due to lack of understanding or just being too plain ol’ embarrassed to ask anyone.
These are just some guidelines and some complications that you may face but at the end of the day it is best to consult your doctor. This might be easier said than done, for men are a little more private about their privates. While women visit gynae, men stay at home and Google their symptoms.
Sometimes sexual problems could stem from psychological burdens or emotional barriers so don’t be offended if your doctor were to approach this angle, they are just covering the bases. Do not be ashamed to seek counselling for any issues.
We men are simpler creatures and our complications are much simpler — we’re worried about not being able to “rise to the occasion”. Problems with erections can happen to all men, with or without diabetes but unfortunately having this condition makes you more vulnerable to sexual complications.
Diabetes causes problems in the blood flow to organs and even nerve damages. If the nerves of the penis are damaged, it may not be able to send arousal signals to the brain. Nerve damage can also limit blood flow, preventing erection.
Many men over the age of 50 have sexual problems even if they do not have diabetes, but with diabetes these problems often develop 10 to 15 years earlier .
Depression can also contribute to sexual problems, and depression is 2 – 4 times more common in people with diabetes .
Certain medications can also cause erection problems, including some drugs used to treat high blood pressure, anxiety, depression, and ulcers.
The first thing you should do is practise good blood glucose control. Ask your doctor how you can improve your blood glucose levels. Good diabetes control can help you avoid diabetic nerve and blood vessel complications and kidney disease.
Exercising is also good for improving your blood flow and you might shed off some weight, boosting your confidence.
If your erectile problem is frequent then talk to your doctor. This is an important problem that will affect your quality of life and psychology. Ask your doctor for advice on all the treatment options and a referral to a specialist.
If you feel that your lack of performance is due to psychological issues like depression or stress, do not hesitate or feel embarrassed to speak to someone about it. Do not be ashamed as this is a one of the most common problems among Malaysian men. 16 – 47% of the male population is affected by it .
Drugs like Viagra may not be healthy for diabetics as it affects the blood flow. Consult your doctor on dosages and frequency if you’re keen to try.
There are some weird forms of treatments in the market. From penile pumps to magic pills so please be wary of what you purchase and try not to fall for those email spams offering “longer faster stronger” performances.
A drastic option is to have surgical implants in your penis but the thought of that will put anyone off.
If lack of testosterone is the problem, you can take hormone shots but please do consult your doctor.
You may also choose to forgo any treatment at all. Most of the options for treating erectile issues have risks or drawbacks that you may not readily accept. Some men and their partners choose to live with impotence and express their sexuality without any of these treatments. So keep an open mind and an open communication with your partner and doctor.
Type 2 diabetes may make sexual activity a little more challenging but it does not mean you must skip the sexual pleasures completely. Many times if the disease is brought under control, sexual dysfunctions resolve themselves.
The most important thing is to have a healthy relationship with your significant other and not give up. Sex should be like a Volvo; build for comfort and safety, not speed and fuel injections. So just relax and enjoy the ride bro!
HealthWorks is currently running a series on diabetes, click here to read more on this silent killer.
As a diabetic, what is the most common sexual complication do you come across? Let us know in the comments below or on our Facebook page!