Diabetes symptoms: ED and vaginal dryness a shock sign of condition

Diabetes can cause blood vessels and the nervous system to become damaged, according to charity Diabetes UK.

Blood flow around the body becomes slower, causing the sexual organs to lose sensitivity.

Men are likely to suffer from erectile dysfunction, while women could experience vaginal dryness.

Thrush is also made worse by high blood glucose levels, making sex uncomfortable, the charity said.

“Both men and women with diabetes can develop sexual problems because of damage to nerves and small blood vessels,” said the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK).

“Troublesome bladder symptoms and changes in sexual function are common health problems as people age.

“Having diabetes can mean early onset and increased severity of these problems.”

More than half of all men with diabetes are affected by sexual dysfunction, while diabetic women are twice more likely to develop the condition than people without diabetes.

Erectile dysfunction is one of the most common sexual problems, said Diabetes UK.

The condition refers to difficulty getting and/or keeping an erection.

Men with diabetes are two to three times more likely to have erectile dysfunction than those without diabetes.

Diabetic men are also more at risk of retrograde ejaculation - a condition where semen goes into the bladder during ejaculation.

Women may experience vaginal dryness, pain during intercourse, or a reduced sexual response.

Sexual dysfunction in women is caused by either nerve damage, reduced blood flow or hormonal changes.

Both men and women with diabetes have also reported having overactive bladders.

People concerned that they may have diabetes should see a GP.

NIDDK said: “People with diabetes can lower their risk of sexual and urologic problems by keeping their blood glucose, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels close to the target numbers their health care provider recommends. Being physically active and maintaining a healthy weight can also help prevent the long-term complications of diabetes.”

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