How Can Diabetes Affect A Woman’s Sex Life?

Women with diabetes may experience sexual difficulties. If not properly controlled, high blood sugar can damage nerves and blood vessels, including those needed for good sexual function. It can also inhibit blood flow to the genitals, which is needed for heightened sensation and lubrication.

Common Issues Women With Diabetes Might Face

Low desire and arousal
A woman’s brain is an important part of her sexuality. When she is sexually stimulated, her brain sends messages to her genitals to start getting ready for sex.

But sometimes, nerve damage from diabetes can interfere with the way these signals are transmitted. Consequently, a woman might lose interest in sex. Or her body may not prepare for sex sufficiently.

Less physical sensation
Some women feel less sensation in their genitals due to nerve damage and poorer blood flow to the area. Sensual touch may not feel as pleasurable. Women may have difficulties becoming aroused or reaching orgasm.

Vaginal dryness
Typically, the vagina becomes wet when a woman is sexually aroused. However, high blood sugar can interfere with lubrication, leaving the vagina dry and tight. As a result, intercourse can become quite uncomfortable.

Try A Different Time Of Day

If low energy and fatigue are a problem, try having sex at a different time of day when your energy is at its peak. Nighttime may not always be the right time. After a long day, and with the added fatigue that comes with diabetes, the last thing you may have energy for is sex. Try sex in the mornings or afternoons. Experiment to see what works best for you.

See Your Doctor

While diabetes can affect a woman’s sex life, other factors can, too. For example, menopause, medications, and relationship problems can all contribute to sexual problems. A complete physical may reveal other conditions that need attention.

You’ll want to have regular checkups to monitor your diabetes. It’s also possible for medications, such as blood pressure drugs or antidepressants, to have sexual side effects, so your doctor might suggest some adjustments.


Having a healthy and active sex life is important to your quality of life. Diabetes may make sexual activity more challenging, but it doesn’t mean you have to completely forgo sexual expression.

When diabetes treatment is successful, sexual issues often resolve themselves. If you stay healthy and communicate with your partner and healthcare provider about any issues, you can maintain a healthy sex life.