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Diabetes

Lack of sexual desire/Diabetes

12/15/2008

Question:

What causes the lack of sexual desire with diabetes? I have inmpetonce.

Answer:

It is important to draw a distinction between between lack of sexual desire and impotence and to be aware that there can be situations in which a person may have either one alone or both.  Impotence is fairly common in "older" men with long-standing diabetes and refers to the inability to develop an erection.  It is thought to result from either damage to blood vessels or nerve supply to the penis or occasionally reduced testosterone (male hormone) production as a result of inadequately controlled diabetes.  There can be loss of sexual desire in both men and women with diabetes, resulting from hormonal changes, generally agreed to be in testosterone in men and some believe that it may result from either testosterone or estrogen impairment or both in women.  There are several past NetWellness questions in the diabetes section that address this in more depth and I suggest that you search for those.  If you are experiencing this, it is worth discussing it with your health care provider to explore possible evaluation and treatment options.

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Response by:

Robert M Cohen, MD Robert M Cohen, MD
Professor of Clinical Medicine
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati