Diabetes is a medical condition characterised by inappropriate blood glucose levels. Blood glucose levels can have an effect on various body functions, such as your kidneys, nerves, feet, and eyes. Moreover, there can loss of libido and other sex problems in the patients.
Both men and women with diabetes can develop sexual problems because of damage to nerves and small blood vessels. When a person wants to lift an arm or take a step, the brain sends nerve signals to the appropriate muscles. Nerve signals also control internal organs like the heart and bladder, but people do not have the same kind of conscious control over them as they do over their arms and legs.
The nerves that control internal organs are called autonomic nerves, which signal the body to digest food and circulate blood without a person having to think about it. The body’s response to sexual stimuli is also involuntary, governed by autonomic nerve signals that increase blood flow to the genitals and cause smooth muscle tissue to relax. Damage to these autonomic nerves can hinder normal function. Reduced blood flow resulting from damage to blood vessels can also contribute to sexual dysfunction.
For men, diabetes can cause damage to the nervous system over a sustained period of time, also known as diabetic neuropathy. Some of the patients damage the erectile tissue which makes it impossible for a man to achieve or maintain an erection.
For women, vaginitis (inflammation of the vagina) is one the sexual problems that they can face. The condition can make sex painful, and is heralded by itching or burning sensations. Cystitis is another common sexual problem for women with diabetes. In the condition, woman’s clitoris may fail to respond to stimulation.
Read more articles on Sexual Problems of Diabetes.