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Sexual Issues and Type 1 Diabetes

Updated at: Dec 05, 2013
Written by: Aparna MirPublished at: Mar 03, 2012
Sexual Issues and Type 1 Diabetes

Type 1 diabetes poses numerous sexual issues in both men and women. Keeping the blood glucose level in control is a way to avoid any sexual complication.

Sexual Issues and Type 1 DiabetesA person suffering from type 1 diabetes has to face various sexual complications also. Type 1 diabetes damages a person’s neural function thereby causing sexual complications.

Both type 1 diabetic men and women suffer from various sexual disorders. Autonomic nervous system of the body controls the internal organs of the body including the sex organs. The involuntary response of the sex organs are controlled by these autonomous nerves. These nerves get damaged during type 1 diabetes.

Sexual problems in men due to type 1 diabetes

Erectile Dysfunction

Erectile dysfunction is a condition in which a person doesn’t get a firm erection for sexual intercourse. If he gets an erection, he is not able to sustain it. Normally erectile dysfunction happens with age, but people having type 1 diabetes develop this at an early age.

Retrograde Ejaculation

The condition in which the semen of a man goes into the bladder during ejaculation rather than reaching the tip of the penis is called retrograde ejaculation. In this, the semen enters the bladder, gets mixed with urine and gets excreted from the body. It happens when sphincter muscles responsible for controlling the ejaculation loosens. A high amount of blood glucose causes this damage.


The condition in which the head of the penis gets inflamed is called balanitis. Generally some urine always gets strapped under the foreskin of the penis after urination. In a diabetic person, when this moist area comes in contact with the glucose in urine, it results in bacterial growth. This finally causes balanitis.

Sexual problems in women due to type 1 diabetes

In women sexual problems arises in a type 1 diabetic due to damage in nerves, improper blood circulation to the genital areas and also due to hormonal imbalance.


Inflammation of the vagina is termed as vaginitis. Women suffering from type 1 diabetes are more sensitive to develop vaginitis than those who don’t.

Infections in vagina

Vaginal infections occur when the vaginal secretions contain more than normal amount of glucose. This supports the growth of bacteria and fungus resulting in itching and continuous discharge from the vagina.

Apart from the above a woman shows other sexual complications also such as vaginal dryness leading to painful sex, a low desire to have sex, no sexual response and release of blood during intercourse.

Type 1 diabetes not only affects a person’s social life, but affects his/her sexual life also. So the disease should be controlled properly to avoid any sexual complications.


Read more articles on Understand Type 1 Diabetes Milletus.




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