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Sex, Urinary, and Bladder Problems of Diabetes

Sexual and urological problems of diabetes facts*

*Sexual and urological problems of diabetes facts Medically Edited by: Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

  • Sexual and urologic complications of diabetes occur because of the damage diabetes can cause to blood vessels and nerves.
  • Both women and men can develop sexual problems from diabetes.
  • Sexual problems in men with diabetes include erectile dysfunction and retrograde ejaculation.
  • Sexual problems in women with diabetes include vaginal dryness, painful intercourse, decreased libido, and decreased or absent sexual response.
  • People with diabetes may experience bladder problems such as overactive bladder, poor control of sphincter muscles that surround the urethra, urine retention, and urinary tract infections.
  • Those people with diabetes who are at risk of sexual or urologic problems include people who have poor glucose and blood pressure control; have high levels of cholesterol; are overweight, are over the age of 40 years, those that smoke, and lack of physical activity.
  • Individuals with diabetes can lower their risk of sexual and urologic problems by controlling glucose, blood pressure, and cholesterol numbers; being physically active and maintaining a healthy weight; and smoking cessation.



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