Keeping Your Sex Life Alive With Diabetes

Diabetes doesn’t have to dim your sex life. Here’s how to recapture your confidence, reconnect with your partner and reignite your passion.  

Susan Amoruso
Reviewed by
Philip Levy, MD
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Flirt, flirt and flirt 
Flirting can have a powerful effect on your marriage, serving as a playful reminder that you still find each other attractive and desirable. Squeeze your spouse’s knee under the table, exchange a meaningful glance or send a sexy text message. These small gestures will go a long way toward keeping your romance alive.

Get real with your loved one
Avoiding the issue won’t make it go away. Share how you’re feeling with your partner. Be honest about how diabetes affects you. Say something like, “I know our sex life hasn’t been great, but my diabetes has really had an impact on my self-esteem.” By admitting there is a problem, you’re offering reassurance while showing that you care about your relationship.

Rethink the definition of sex  
A sexual encounter with your spouse doesn’t necessarily mean intercourse. Slow down and rediscover each other through foreplay. Kissing, snuggling, massaging—all of these can bring pleasure, build closeness and nurture intimacy.

Offer positive reinforcement
Let your partner know when something feels good. A simple “That feels nice” lets your partner know they’re pleasing you, and that can take the pressure off.

Consider a sex date
If you feel ready to try intercourse, some experts suggest planning a sex date. Be sure to test your blood sugar beforehand to avoid a low blood glucose reaction. And if you use an insulin pump, you may want to set a temporary basal rate or disconnect it during sex to avoid going low. 

April 2013