What you need to know about sex and type 1 diabetes

Like any other activity that requires physical exertion, sex can decrease your blood glucose levels. So let’s look at how to avoid jelly beans making an appearance during your sexual activity.

Top five tips to prevent hypoglycaemia when having sex

  1. Check your blood glucose level before getting busy.
  2. Have some hypo food on you just in case.
  3. Consider wearing a CGM to make it easier to avoid a low. The arrows and the alarms will beep when you are trending lower so that you can treat it quickly.
  4. Be aware of hypos if drinking alcohol. Alcohol can lower your glucose levels and prevent you from noticing hypo symptoms.
  5. You may need to take breaks to refuel the body if you are in for an active session!

To disconnect diabetes devices or not?

The decision to wear an insulin pump or a continuous glucose monitor (CGM) during sex is personal. However, if you choose to disconnect your pump, you only have insulin on board for an hour or two. So, it is important to remember to reattach it before falling asleep when the fun is over.

Technical difficulties

Keeping tabs on your blood glucose levels is an important practice to prevent potential roadblocks during any stage of sexual play.

What women should know

  • Many women experience vaginal dryness due to high blood glucose levels, contributing to pain or discomfort during sex. Lubricants will help with this.
  • This can lead to potential difficulties with climax and sexual desire too.
  • A woman may also be more likely to develop thrush, but keeping your blood glucose levels within the target range will help.

What men should know

  • High blood glucose levels may lead to potential obstacles in the bedroom, possibly leading to erectile dysfunction (impotence) and various problems with ejaculation.
  • You may experience low libido.
  • Some diabetes medications may cause urinary tract infections

More information available here and here.

 

If you are experiencing any of these, please talk to your GP or diabetes treating team or call us on 1800 637 700.

 

By Karen Jameson, Credentialled Diabetes Educator

 

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