When most people hear the words “diabetes and sexual dysfunction,” they automatically think it’s the man’s problem. But women with diabetes can also experience sexual problems related to their blood sugar levels.
When glucose isn’t under good control, a woman’s sex life can suffer.
In a study by the journal Diabetes, 35% of women with diabetes reported being unable to have an orgasm during intercourse, compared to just 6% of the women who didn’t have diabetes.
Ann Albright PhD, RD says one reason women with diabetes may have trouble achieving orgasm is that high blood sugars can affect vaginal lubrication.
“The lubrication issues not only can impact sensation, they also can make sex very uncomfortable, even painful,” she says.
In a 1986 study now considered a cornerstone of research on the topic, nearly half the women in the study had a sexual problem. Of these, 32% of women reported experiencing problems with lubrication. Eighty-nine percent said the problems started after their diabetes diagnosis.
Albright says there are many health benefits of good blood sugar control, but many women don’t realize that better lubrication, and, ultimately, a better sex life may be among them.