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:
Next Discussion: Just a little thing »