Diabetes Tsunami has serious impact on human sexuality. It is termed as Sexual Dysfunction and in common parlance Impotence. Sexual dysfunction (or sexual malfunction) is the difficulty experienced by an individual or a couple during any stage of a normal sexual activity, including physical pleasure, desire, preference, arousal or orgasm. Both men and women are affected by sexual Dysfunction in Diabetes. Serious expression is in man, the usual active partner in sex. It is referred to as Erectile Dysfunction (ED). The male sex organ, penis fail to erect, fails to sustain erection and there is failure of orgasm in the sex act. In diabetes this begins sometimes early in the disease process but generally it is late. In some it is present even at the time of diagnosis of Diabetes. Men express their concern to the physician more often than women.
Diabetes affects erection in several ways. A penile erection is the expansible effect of blood entering and being retained in sponge-like bodies within the penis. This is initiated by sexual arousal when signals are sent to nerves in the penis from the brain. In Diabetes especially in long standing Diabetes there are changes in blood vessels and nerves. This causes the defective erection. Sexual dysfunction makes people depressed.
Good Diabetes control is an absolute must. Good Blood pressure control, Cholesterol control and avoidance of smoking and alcohol will be of much help. As treatment it is essential to have good counselling. Medicines like sildenafil are currently in use and much more are in the pipeline. Injections into the penis and newer implants in the penis and other devices are successfully used in erectile dysfunction. All these are having advantages and disadvantages. In women dryness of vagina and various infections can lead sexual dysfunction and are all treatable. The stake holders of Diabetes have to take note of this growing issue, Sexual Dysfunction, a little more seriously so as to prevent it or provide an early solution. Do not shy away. Take advice. Provide solution. That is the bottom-line.