The associated urological problems of diabetes

Aging is always accompanied by certain changes in urological and sexual function. In diabetics, these changes occur more intensely and earlier, as they are more prone to bladder problems and urinary tract infections.

In the case of men, they may have difficulties in having an erection or ejaculating, while women may have problems with vaginal lubrication and sexual response.

Having diabetes under control at the metabolic level helps to reduce these disorders, in addition to delaying their onset.

Diabetes and sexual problems

People with diabetes may suffer damage to blood vessels and nerves that can lead to the development of sexual problems.

Damage to these nerves, which react autonomously to stimuli, causes the body to react by increasing blood flow to the genitals, which can lead to alterations in normal function.

What sexual problems can men with diabetes have?

Erectile dysfunction

Erectile dysfunction is the lack of ability to get an erection and maintain it long enough to have sexual intercourse.

Men with diabetes are up to two to three times more likely to have this disorder. However, prevalence rates vary between 20% and 75%.

In addition to diabetes, there are other causes that would affect erectile dysfunction such as:

  • Arterial hypertension
  • Kidney disease
  • Alcohol abuse
  • Vascular diseases
  • Side effects of some medications
  • Psychological factors
  • Smoking
  • Hormonal deficits

In any case, erectile dysfunction should be considered as a cardiovascular alarm signal.

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Retrograde ejaculation

This is an ejaculation disorder that causes semen to flow into the bladder instead of out when ejaculating. This happens when the sphincters are not functioning as they should, causing semen to mix with urine and be expelled through urination.

Detection of retrograde ejaculation is possible by detecting semen in the urine, as well as by performing a urinalysis. On the other hand, the causes that provoke this disorder are:

  • Inadequate blood glucose control.
  • The consequent damage of the nerves
  • Prostate surgery
  • Some medications

What sexual problems can women with diabetes have?

Women with type 1 or type 2 diabetes may suffer from problems such as:

  • Decreased vaginal lubrication, resulting in vaginal dryness.
  • Painful or uncomfortable sexual intercourse
  • Decreased or absent sexual desire
  • Decreased or absent sexual response
  • Inability to achieve or maintain arousal
  • Reduced sensation in the genital area
  • Total absence of sensation
  • Constant or sporadic inability to reach orgasm

The causes of these sexual problems in diabetic women include:

  • Nerve damage
  • Decreased blood flow to the genital and vaginal tissues
  • Hormonal changes
  • Some medications
  • Alcohol abuse
  • Smoking
  • Psychological problems such as anxiety or depression
  • Gynecological infections
  • Conditions related to pregnancy or menopause.

Diagnosis is possible with a detailed history. In addition, a physical examination and laboratory tests can help determine the cause of sexual problems.

The most recurrent techniques or treatments to deal with these women’s sexual problems are:

  • Vaginal lubricants: are often helpful for women suffering from vaginal dryness.
  • Techniques to treat decreased sexual response: include changes in position and stimulation during intercourse.
  • Psychological therapy
  • Exercises to help strengthen pelvic muscles may improve sexual response.
  • Drug treatments