Type 1 diabetes


Type 1 diabetes can be diagnosed at any age, although typically it is diagnosed during childhood. It is a lifelong condition of the autoimmune disease that permanently destroys beta cells in the pancreas, meaning that the body does not produce insulin. Diet and exercise are important in managing type 1 diabetes but they cannot reverse the disease or eliminate the need for insulin.



Type 2 diabetes


In Type 2 diabetes the body does produce insulin but does not use it effectively. The body’s response to sexual stimuli is regulated by the autonomic nervous system (i.e. nerves that control internal organs). This causes increased blood flow to the genitals and muscles. Diabetes causes damage to blood vessels and nerves, which can contribute to sexual dysfunction. In men, it can result in erectile dysfunction and retrograde ejaculation. Women can have decreased vaginal lubrication, painful sexual intercourse, decreased sexual desire and response. Women with diabetes are also more likely to have fungal infections which can cause irritation and pain during intercourse. These problems are exacerbated with poor blood glucose control, high blood pressure and excessive weight. Complications can therefore be prevented by managing weight and exercising regularly.