Diabetes symptoms can impact many parts of your life. Something you may not like to think about or to discuss with your doctor is how diabetes can change the way you experience intimacy. However, if you're experiencing issues in this area, you should know that they are common in people with diabetes and that your doctor can help you manage them. Once you talk to a medical professional about your concerns and begin to address them in the way he or she recommends, you may also try these techniques:

Try to relax

Though it is true that diabetes can impact intimacy for both men and women, so can the mind. If you are fixated on whatever issues you may have, your problems may worsen – whether you worry that performance is more difficult, you never seem to be in the mood, or you’re afraid your partner will be turned off by your insulin pump. Paying attention to your anxieties about intimacy is not a good way to get in the mood - in fact, it does exactly the opposite. Instead, try breathing exercises and relaxation meditation before you plan to become intimate with your partner. It may also help to explore each other by way of massages with no expectations and through conversation about your desires and expectations around what your intimate life could look like, diabetes or not.

Be realistic

If you're dealing with low libido from diabetes but taking steps to address it, don't expect you and your partner to be between the sheets every night starting next week. Treatments of all kinds take time, and even people who are not experiencing sexual diabetes complications usually don't get physical every single time they're in bed with a partner. Instead, consider what you can do to fill you and your partner's need for intimate time that doesn't put undue pressure on you. If you're stuck, there are plenty of books available by sex therapists that may be useful for you. Or maybe you just need to cuddle more often - and let everything else happen naturally as treatments take effect and your mindset improves.

Though it may be embarrassing to broach sexual function issues with your doctor, you should absolutely do so - solutions are available that will help you return to a healthy and satisfying experience of intimacy.

For more on intimacy and diabetes:

Under Cover: Sex and Diabetes
Chronic Communication at Home: Talking about Sex
Intimacy — Tip 1: Communicate, Communicate, Communicate!