There are several sexual and urological risks associated with diabetes. Sexual problems observed in men with diabetes include erectile dysfunction and retrograde ejaculation, whereas women's sexual concerns include vaginal lubrication and absence of response. Urologic problems with diabetes refers to the problems such as nerve damage, overactive bladder, poor control of sphincter muscles and urinary tract infections. Sexual and urologic problems in diabetes occur when the blood vessels and nerves get damaged.
Owing to damage to the nerves and small blood vessels in diabetic condition, men and women might develop sexual problems. As a result, diabetics lose conscious control over various body parts, closely related to the sexual stimuli. Due to autonomic nerve damage, normal functions get hindered and reduce blood flow, which leads to sexual dysfunction.
1. Sexual Problems in Men
a. Erectile Dysfunction: One of the most common sexual complications associated with diabetic condition is erectile dysfunction, wherein men do not have firm or long-lasting erection for sexual intercourse. Reasons for erectile dysfunction are high blood pressure, kidney disease and blood vessel disease.
b. Retrograde Ejaculation: Another common sexual concern in men in a diabetic condition is retrograde ejaculation, wherein the semen goes into the bladder during ejaculation. This happens due to the inadequate functioning of sphincters.
2. Sexual Problems in Women
Diabetic women might also experience sexual problems in a diabetic state, which include decreased vaginal lubrication (vaginal dryness), pain during sexual intercourse, deteriorated desire for sexual activity and decreased sexual response.
Diabetics are also affected by the urologic problems which include bladder problems and urinary tract infections.
1. Bladder Problems
When nerves controlling the bladder get damaged, there are chances of bladder diseases, injuries and infections. Some of the common bladder problems are overactive bladder, inadequate control of sphincter muscles and urine retention.
2. Urinary Tract Infections
Diabetics may get several urinary complications some of the which are listed below:
a. Frequent urge to urinate.
b. Pain or burning in the bladder or urethra during urination.
c. Reddish urine.
d. Pain in bladder.
e. Pain in urethra.
f. Fullness in the rectum.
g. Pressure above pubic bone (only women).
Individuals with diabetes can reduce the risk of sexual and urologic problems by keeping check over blood glucose and cholesterol levels. This can be accomplished by being physically active, eating healthy and maintaining adequate body weight. Giving up on alcohol and smoking lessens the risk of sexual and urologic problems apart from other concerns related to diabetes such as stroke, kidney diseases and heart attack.
Read more articles on Diabetes Causes and Risks.