Women and Diabetes Pt 3 of 3

By MAYS Latest Reply 2011-06-29 12:54:25 -0500
Started 2010-01-26 16:01:57 -0600

Menopause and Diabetes

The major question all women face regarding menopause is whether to take Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT). Again, the benefits and risks for a woman with diabetes are similar as those for a woman without diabetes. Until recently, a good reason to take HRT was to protect you from heart disease. Recent research suggests that it may not protect you against heart disease so this isn't reason to use it alone if you have other reasons not to use it.

Anyone with the following conditions who uses HRT is at some risk of difficulties and should think twice about using it: sickle cell anemia, high blood pressure, migraines, uterine fibroids, a history of benign breast conditions such as cysts or fibroadenomas, endometriosis, seizures, gallbladder disease, a family history of breast cancer, and a past or current history of smoking,

The Sexually Healthy Woman

From simple to serious, all women can have sexual health problems. They occur in women with Type 1 diabetes at about the same rate as women without diabetes, and are somewhat more common in women with Type 2 diabetes. Careful diabetes management and good glucose control can help prevent problems such as these:

Vaginal dryness: poor vaginal lubrication can be caused by low hormone levels; blood vessel damage; or nerve damage (which prevents arousal and fluid production). Stress, age, pregnancy, and certain medications can also reduce the production of lubrications. Lubricants are an easy solution. Hormonal therapy may also be appropriate.

Infections: yeast infections (vaginitis) are caused by a fungus, and high glucose in the bloodstream helps it grow faster. If not treated, they can lead to more serious urinary tract infections. These painful, itching infections can be treated with creams and medications. Better blood sugar control is essential.

Vaginal tightness (vaginismus): caused by muscle spasms around the vaginal opening, vaginismus can make it difficult or painful to have sex. "Kegel" muscle-relaxation exercises can help. Practice by tightening the muscles to stop the flow of urine, then relaxing. Use this technique before or during sex.

Trouble reaching orgasm: the above problems can cause painful or uncomfortable sex, making it hard to reach orgasm. Additionally, nerve damage can reduce the pleasure that leads to orgasm. Psychological concerns can also decrease sexual desire. Be sure to mention to your gynecologist or family doctor if you are having problems.

Click on the links below and watch the videos for more info:



4 replies

cottoncandybaby 2011-06-26 23:32:07 -0500 Report

This is a good article, even though I see it is from sometime last year, but seems to have current information. I have also noticed a decrease in vaginal lubrication and sometimes difficulty or just taking longer to reach orgasm than in the past. It is hard to tell if these difficulties are from any nerve damage due to diabetes or just getting older and dealing with the usual issues of age (I am 54). Is this a common occurance in other women? I do have a wonderful partner, my fiance', we have been together for over a yr and a half, he is 60, and uses Levitra for ED, but not due to diabetes, he had smoked for many years (not now), and I think all that smoking has decreased his blood flow, he had blood test for low Test. last week, do not know results yet. But was wondering if the other women out there with Type 2 (taking Metformin one and a half tablets twice a day) have had these symptoms also and what do they do to help keep arousal and lubrication going? Thanks for answering these embarrassing questions.

MAYS 2011-06-27 00:25:19 -0500 Report

I am not a female but I believe in helping others and sharing information.
The following information may be helpful to you:

Changes may more be subtle in women with diabetes. In women, diabetes can lead to hardening of the blood vessels of the vaginal wall. Decreased blood flow caused by diabetes may cause the vagina to be drier than normal. It also may cause a woman to be at a higher risk of getting recurring yeast infections. All of these changes can cause pain during sex.

In older women, the combination of diabetes and menopause may cause
a 50% decrease in vaginal blood supply due to low estrogen levels
vaginal secretions that are less acidic and less protective, which lowers the resistance to bacteria in the vagina and increases the risk of yeast infection
levels of glucose in vaginal mucus that may help cause yeast infections
pain and bleeding with intercourse because of vaginal dryness and the thinning of the vaginal lining.

Women may notice that they are not as easily aroused. They may be less sensitive to touching and stroking, which can result in decreased interest in sex. It may become harder for a woman to have an orgasm.

These links may be of interest to you as well:





If you think that any of this information can be of use to someone please feel free to pass it on!


cottoncandybaby 2011-06-28 18:40:06 -0500 Report

Thank you Mays, that was very helpful and gave me some questions to ask my gyn when I go to my visit next month. Thankfully, I have no problem with pain or bleeding during sex. However, as I read in your response, it does take longer to get aroused and lubricated, although some of that may be due to just being in my 50's and not in my 30's anymore! Hard to tell just what the cause is. But was interesting to know about hardening of vessels in the vaginal wall, I had never thought about that. Will make me more aware of my own body next time. Will use more lubricant, as that should help too. Thanks for all the info! I'm sure other women will welcome this info, too. Amy

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