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“Women’s health and sexuality is complex, and is especially so when diabetes is thrown in the mix,” says Barb DePree, MD, Ob/Gyn, Director of the Women’s Midlife Services at Holland Hospital in Michigan and author of Yes You Can: Dr. Barb’s Recipe for Lifelong Intimacy. “It’s vital for diabetic women to understand the extra care required to enjoy a healthy sex life- from diet, to exercise, to the preventative measures that help to balance yeast and bacteria down below.”
Dr. DePree recommends the following six tips to help boost sexual satisfaction, maintain feminine health, and promote overall wellbeing:
- New toys and devices increase blood flow to the clitoris, which is helpful as diabetics’ experience blood vessel changes that can cause decreased arousal and sensation. A vibrator can help with self-pleasure but a personal device like Fiera warms up a woman’s libido naturally before foreplay to help get her in the mood. Don’t forget to use a water-based, sugar-free lube like Wet Naturals with any toy or device.
- Take a vaginal lactobacillus supplement every day. A study found that oral probiotics taken regularly can resolve most feminine issues. Pro-B is a daily supplement that balances yeast and bacteria with two vaginal strains of probiotic lactobacillus (flora), L. rhamnosus GR-1™ and L. reuteri RC-14™.
- Exercise the pelvic floor with a medical device like Intensity which strengthens the pelvic floor and precipitates orgasm through dual vibrators to the clitoris and G-spot.
- pH matters. Increased blood sugar levels can elevate the pH of your vagina. When healthy lactobacilli can no longer survive, bad bacterial growth can cause bacterial vaginosis (BV) and yeast infections. Re-balancing pH to a healthy range of 3.8-4.5 is possible with RepHresh gel. Pregnant women with gestational diabetes and an unbalanced vaginal pH are more likely to develop vaginal infections that can cause premature birth.
- Use a sugar-free lube. Popular ingredients in lubes like glycerin and propylene glycol can elevate vaginal pH and trigger yeast infections. Use a silicone-based lube like Replens Silky Smooth or Wet Platinum just prior to intercourse to ease penetration, enhance intimacy and eliminate the chances of abrasion.
- Sex makes for good sleep. For diabetics, getting sufficient sleep is especially important. Sex increases estrogen release in women, positively impacting REM sleep. The release of oxytocin following stimulation and orgasm increases calmness while lowered cortisol levels reduce stress. During orgasm, there is also an increased release of prolactin to help women fall asleep faster; this also plays a role in controlling blood sugar.
“So, remember to keep your blood sugar under control. And, make a visit to the nearest drug store for over-the-counter products that help overcome roadblocks to an active sex life,” concluded DePree.