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July 2012
No Point Hiding Your Diabetic Secrets.Get Help!
Dr Sanjay Chatterjee & Dr Vinay Mahendra
 
Reproductive health and function are essential for procreation and continuation of species, and sex as the natural act of the process has a far wider implication in humans. Many ailments, especially, lifestyle diseases like diabetes can have a very adverse affect in this area, even impairing reproductive functions.

Sexual Problems Arising Out Of Diabetes In Men
Uncontrolled diabetes damages various nerves of the body and that includes the nerves supplying the penis too.Erectile Dysfunction [ED] is defined as inadequate erection of penis to have a satisfactory sexual intercourse. ED can occur in men because of psychological, physical and other reasons. The stimulus for erection arises in the brain and the signal travels through the spinal cord and nerves to the penis. The whole process is highly integrated and coordinated. Damage to the nerves or blood vessels of the penis breaks up this integrated circuit and leads to ED.
  • ED affects up to 75 per cent of all diabetic men temporarily or permanently, at some point in life. The figure may be much higher as most men suppress the problem.
  • Studies point out that diabetes almost more than doubles the risk of ED.
  • Even the onset of ED is earlier in diabetic men by almost 10 to15 years than their non-diabetic counterparts. So severe is the issue that doctors now look for diabetes in men who turn up with this complaint, particularly when the patients are young or aged below 45.
  • ED arising out of nerve damage in diabetics is known as diabetic neuropathy.
  • Surgery for implanting a device to help in erection or repair of arteries may be opted, as a last resort.
Sexual Problems Arising Out Of Diabetes In Women
In women, reproductive health crisis arising out diabetes include: vaginal dryness due to reduced lubrication of vagina, pain or discomfort during intercourse, reduced or diminished or little sexual arousal or response. There may also be loss of sensation in the genitals and failure to have an orgasm. Poor control of blood glucose may predispose to vaginal infection and cause itching, white discharge and pain. The commonest cause is fungal infection. Good control of diabetes and proper antibiotics can correct the problem.

Treatment involves efficient blood glucose control. Psychological counselling can be of assistance in addition to changing the position and stimulation moves during sexual intercourse with due advice from your medical counsellor. In addition to this, vaginal lubricants help in reducing the vaginal dryness. Kegel exercises to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles are also advised.

Dr Sanjay Chatterjee is Consultant Diabetologist,Apollo Gleneagles Hospitals,Kolkata .Dr Vinay Mahendra is Consultant Urologist,,Apollo Gleneagles Hospitals,Kolkata.


    
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