Do you feel a sudden lightheadedness after having sex? No, it’s not simply your imagination – sex can cause your blood sugar levels to go down. As much as it might come as a surprise to many, studies have shown that sex can have an impact on your blood sugar levels, and it can have a bigger impact on people with diabetes. If you’re wondering how sex impacts your blood sugar levels, scroll down to know more.
Health Shots got in touch with Dr Prateek Makwana, Consultant Embryologist, Simplifying Reproductive and Sexual Health to understand the connection between sex and blood sugar levels.
Sex and blood sugar levels: What’s the link?
Just like jogging or aerobics, sex is like an exercise that can cause your blood sugar levels to drop. Dr Makwana explains, “Sex is a type of physical activity, and like every other physical activity, it can cause your blood sugar levels to drop. This happens because glucose is the main source of energy used during physical activities and exercises.”
While it can cause your blood sugar levels to drop, you can do a few things to manage it.
Other ways diabetes affects your sex life
For someone with diabetes, having sex can lower blood sugar levels but it can affect you in other ways as well. Here are some of the common ways diabetes affects your sex life:
1. Vaginal dryness
Many women with diabetes may experience vaginal dryness. As per Diabetes UK, having diabetes increases the chances of getting vaginal dryness. High levels of blood sugar causes the blood vessels in your vagina to get damaged and cause dryness. Hence, the sex can be painful. The expert recommends using lubricants generously to avoid any discomfort or pain during sex.
2. Low libido
A lack of sexual desire is another common people in people with diabetes. A study published in the Iranian Journal of Medical Sciences found that there was a high prevalence of sexual dysfunction in women with diabetes. It is important to talk to your doctor about the best time to take your diabetes medication. “Some medications can cause low blood sugar levels, so it is important to take them at a time when you don’t want to exert yourself,” says the expert.
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3. More UTIs
Diabetes has long been associated with urinary tract infections (UTIs). Studies have found that diabetics are more prone to UTIs, bladder issues, and sexual dysfunction. It can even make urologic conditions worse, according to a study published in PLOS ONE.
What can you do to avoid a sudden drop in your blood sugar levels after sex?
A sudden drop in your blood sugar levels can become a disruption in your sex life. Here’s what you can do to maintain your blood sugar levels as suggested by Dr Makwana:
* Keep your blood sugar levels in check regularly to avoid a sudden drop or spike.
* Eat your meals and snacks timely to maintain your blood sugar levels.
* Physical activities such as sex can affect your blood sugar levels, so you should keep a source of carbohydrates with you in case you realise your blood sugar levels are dropping during or after sex.
It is vital to talk to your doctor and nutritionist to ensure your blood sugar levels are maintained.
How can diabetics enjoy sex?
While sex may cause a sudden drop in your blood sugar levels, it is not impossible for you to enjoy sex. All you need are a few considerations, which Dr Makwana has suggested:
1. Communicate with your partner: It is vital to communicate with your partner about your condition. You should also specify the specific needs in this regard to avoid complications in your relationship—physically or emotionally.
2. Check blood sugar levels regularly: Managing and checking your blood sugar levels is important before you engage in any sort of sexual activity. It will help you ensure that your blood sugar levels don’t drop marginally low and prevent complications.
3. Stay hydrated and full: Don’t underestimate the power of drinking enough water. Staying hydrated will keep your energy levels intact. Plus, you need to keep your blood sugar levels in check by snacking in between meals.
4. Avoid alcohol: Believe it or not, alcohol interferes with diabetes management, and the best way to avoid it is by reducing alcohol consumption.
5. Understand your physical limitations: At times, you might want to go the extra mile with your partner or try new things. But you need to understand your sexual limitations to avoid any complications that may affect your sexual pleasure and safety.
6. Avoid stress: Stress can affect both your blood sugar levels as well as your libido so make sure you are managing your stress levels to avoid any complications.
7. Speak to your doctor: If you haven’t been enjoying sex or facing problems during sex, talk to your doctor. Remember, each person’s experience with diabetes is unique, so listening to your body and focusing on well-being during sexual activity are paramount. You will be able to understand your body and condition better if you talk to a certified professional.