Ask Allison: Doin’ the Deed with Diabetes

adviceWelcome to my brand-new advice column, Ask Allison! With twenty years of life experience and 10+ years of researching and writing about diabetes, I thought it would be fun to address specific reader questions rather than just blab about randomness. So if you’ve got a question about living with diabetes (no diagnostic questions, obvi), fill out the contact form!

And if I don’t know the answer, I probably know someone who does.

Anonymous writes: I would like to be anonymous in this question only because I feel a bit silly for even asking. Here goes, I have noticed over the years that my sex drive has been all over the place. Some months I am raring to go and others I just don’t even think about it. My doctor suggests that it is diabetes/age related. I’m only 26 though. I’ve tried researching this topic and maybe even how to get out of these funks when they do happen but have come up empty handed. Have you come across anything like this? Felt this way? Have any advice? Thanks.

My husband is so going to kill me for this post.

Some of you may remember from my days at DiabetesMine that I regularly covered diabetes complications for a 411 series. Well, it looks like my work continues here at The Blood Sugar Whisperer because sexual dysfunction is definitely a complication of diabetes.

A November 2012 issue of Diabetes Forecast explains that diabetes, namely high blood sugar, can cause low sex drive in both men and women. So if you’re finding yourself cooled down during certain times, take a look at your most recent week of blood sugars. It could be that the effects of high blood sugar (mood swings, nausea) are making it difficult to feel “in the mood.”

Sexual_driveBut it’s also not uncommon to have a varying sex drive because, unlike our male counterparts, a woman’s sex drive isn’t quite like their on-off switch. A survey published in the Archives of Internal Medicine showed that more than one in three women admitted to experiencing low sexual desire in the past month. Sex for women is very mental. If you’re feel particularly stressed or exhausted, that could be factoring into why you’re more keen to just hit the hay instead of romping in it.

Personally, I think it’s perfectly normal to have highs and lows of the sexual kind just as it’s normal to have highs and lows of the diabetic kind. There are certainly times where I’m more in the mood than others. Especially if my husband and I are particularly busy, then it’s easier to just push it to the back of my mind and focus on more pressing concerns. Like sleep.

Another thing to consider is the state of your relationship. This isn’t to say you’re not interested in your partner. But for many couples, the longer you’re together, the less inclined you might be to have sex as frequently.

Birth control has also been a cause for me to have a lower sex drive, and it is one of the reasons why I decided to go off of it. That and the horrible blood sugars and insulin resistance it caused, but that’s an entirely separate advice column. You mentioned that this is more of an occasional occurrence than something that happens all the time, so it probably isn’t that. But if anyone is having issues after going on birth control, you might want to take a second look at your contraception choices and look for something with less hormones.

Needless to say, there are a lot of reasons why women can have a low sex drive. What’s the answer for your situation? Well, I’m not a psychologist, sex therapist or gynecologist, so I can’t say, but all three of these professionals are good people to talk to if you feel like this problem is putting a real hindrance in your life. It can be embarrassing to talk about these personal topics, but it’s better to speak up to one individual than to suffer in silence alone.

Have a question for Ask Allison? Fill out the contact form and I’ll get to you ASAP!

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2 Responses to Ask Allison: Doin’ the Deed with Diabetes

  1. Pingback: Diabetes Must-Read-Blogs of July

  2. Fiona Cole says:

    Sorry, but this article wasted my time by failing to provide any really useful information.
    Is it an American thing – being so conservative when talking about sex?

    Why didn’t you speak to a gyno, psychologist or other health professional to get some general advice.

    Sorry, but I was v disappointed and frustrated… and still am.

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