In men with type 1 diabetes, the prevalence of erectile dysfunction is quite alarmingly high. However, impotence is not the only urologic complication associated with type 1 diabetes.
The relationship between diabetes and sexual dysfunction has long been established. We’ll share with you 3 sexual dysfunctions you need to be careful of if you have type 1 diabetes.
Overview of Type 1 Diabetes
In the past, type 1 diabetes mellitus was referred to as juvenile diabetes. That’s because the disease starts early in life, unlike type 2 diabetes which is usually diagnosed in middle-aged and elderly people.
The reason why even young people get type 1 diabetes is that the disease is caused by the reduced insulin production by the pancreas. Or, the pancreas may have completely stopped producing insulin. The disease is more commonly diagnosed in children and adolescents. However, you may acquire it even when you’re an adult already.
Factors like genetics and viral infections contribute to type 1 diabetes. Unfortunately, no cure has been found yet for type 1 diabetes. Hence, if you have it, you’ll need to diligently manage your blood sugar levels with insulin.
1. Erectile Dysfunction
In a study involving 551 men with type 1 diabetes, 45% of the participants reported experiencing erectile dysfunction. Among the male participants, the second most common urologic complication was low sexual desire, with 40% of the men reporting low libido.
Other urologic complications included lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS), with 24% indicating they were suffering from it. Fourteen percent of the male participants also reported having orgasmic dysfunction. Among the female participants, 42% reported they were suffering from sexual dysfunction.
Nerve damage, clinically referred to as neuropathy, is the number one reason why erectile dysfunction is so prevalent in men with either type 1 or type 2 diabetes. With type 1 diabetes, your blood sugar levels increase because your cells are unable to absorb the glucose in your blood. That’s because your cells need insulin to absorb the sugar in your blood.
But since your pancreas is not producing enough insulin, the glucose molecules that weren’t absorbed by your cells remain in your blood. This then causes chronic high blood sugar levels.
When there’s too much sugar in your blood, this can damage the walls of your tiny blood vessels that are supposed to nourish your nerves. When your nerves are no longer receiving enough blood supply, they become damaged and their functions are impaired.
Unfortunately, the blood vessels and nerves found in your genital area are vulnerable to the damage caused by high blood sugar levels. When you develop neuropathy in your penile nerves, it can mess up with your body’s arousal and sexual stimulation processes.
Neuropathy can interrupt the flow of nerve signals that are required for your penis to become erect. Even when your penis is being sexually stimulated, your penile nerves may not be able to effectively communicate this to your brain, so your brain is unable to send the signals to order your penis to become hard. Hence, erectile dysfunction happens as a result.
2. Orgasmic Dysfunction
Male orgasmic disorder is a condition wherein you experience difficulties or are unable to achieve an orgasm while having sex with your partner. It could also happen when you’re unable to climax unless there’s prolonged sexual contact. Male orgasmic disorder is different from premature ejaculation, delayed ejaculation, or retarded ejaculation.
Retrograde ejaculation is a common complaint among men with type 1 diabetes. That’s because neuropathy in the nerves found in your genital area can also affect your body’s ejaculatory mechanism. When you ejaculate, your bladder neck doesn’t close properly. So, instead of flowing out of your penis, your semen flows back to your bladder.
The nerve damage that type 1 diabetes causes can also result in a loss of sensation in the penis. When this happens, it means that your penis simply isn’t registering the sensations associated with sexual stimulation. Thus, it becomes difficult for you to achieve an orgasm.
This kind of nerve damage is universal for people who have had diabetes for a long time. In women, neuropathy can also lead to decreased sensitivity of the clitoris and the vagina. Hence, orgasmic dysfunction is also common in women with type 1 diabetes.
3. Low Libido
Type 1 diabetes can cause a reduction in your testosterone production. Since testosterone is important for your sex drive, when you’re low on testosterone, your libido also drops.
However, this is not the sole factor that causes a decline in your desire for sex. Type 1 diabetes is also strongly linked to depression, fatigue, and even low self-esteem. These factors can also contribute to the decline of your libido.
If you’re taking medications for depression, these medications may also contribute to the sexual dysfunctions you are experiencing. Certain antidepressants are known to cause reduced libido and erectile dysfunction as adverse side effects.
Managing Sexual Dysfunctions
Sexual dysfunction is an extremely heavy burden to carry for any man. Fortunately, there are now many ways to combat and prevent sexual dysfunction. Oral medications, surgeries, and psychotherapies can all help in the management of sexual dysfunction.
If you prefer natural means, you can use herbal solutions to help you address the problem. Various herbs are proven helpful in managing reduced libido and erectile dysfunction. For example, Tribulus terrestris is an effective way to increase your testosterone levels, enhance your libido, and improve your erectile function.
To maximize the benefits of Tribulus terrestris, you should try an all-natural male sex enhancement supplement. One of the most effective male sex enhancement supplements today contains several herbs that can are beneficial for men suffering from sexual dysfunctions.
Aside from Tribulus terrestris, it also contains maca, Tongkat Ali, and horny goat weed. These four herbs are known for their efficacy in treating impotence. In fact, these herbs are famous for having been used for centuries as traditional medicine treatments for male sexual problems.
In addition, it also contains botanical aphrodisiacs like Butea superba and damiana. Both are known not just for their potency as aphrodisiacs, but they also help improve your erectile function so you can have strong erections that last long.