- Type 2 Diabetes: Learn the Warning Signs
- Diabetes and Foot Problems Slideshow
- Take the Diabetes Quiz!
- Patient Comments: Sex, Urinary, and Bladder Problems of Diabetes - Experience
- Patient Comments: Sex, Urinary, and Bladder Problems of Diabetes - Men
- Patient Comments: Sex, Urinary, and Bladder Problems of Diabetes - Prevention
- Find a local Endocrinologist in your town
- Sexual and urological problems of diabetes facts*
- Introduction to sexual and urological problems of diabetes
- Diabetes and sexual problems
- What sexual problems can occur in men with diabetes?
- What sexual problems can occur in women with diabetes?
- Diabetes and urologic problems
- Who is at risk for developing sexual and urologic problems of diabetes?
- Can diabetes-related sexual and urologic problems be prevented?
- Sexual and Urologic Problems of Diabetes At A Glance
- Hope through research
Introduction to sexual and urological problems of diabetes
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. Sexual and urologic complications of diabetes occur because of the damage diabetes can cause to blood vessels and nerves. Men may have difficulty with erections or ejaculation. Women may have problems with sexual response and vaginal lubrication. Urinary tract infections and bladder problems occur more often in people with diabetes. People who keep their diabetes under control can lower their risk of the early onset of these sexual and urologic problems.
Diabetes and sexual problems
Both men and women with diabetes can develop sexual problems because of damage to nerves and small blood vessels. When a person wants to lift an arm or take a step, the brain sends nerve signals to the appropriate muscles. Nerve signals also control internal organs like the heart and bladder, but people do not have the same kind of conscious control over them as they do over their arms and legs. The nerves that control internal organs are called autonomic nerves, which signal the body to digest food and circulate blood without a person having to think about it. The body's response to sexual stimuli is also involuntary, governed by autonomic nerve signals that increase blood flow to the genitals and cause smooth muscle tissue to relax. Damage to these autonomic nerves can hinder normal function. Reduced blood flow resulting from damage to blood vessels can also contribute to sexual dysfunction.