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VIDEO: Diabetes educators must raise awareness, address sexual complications

SAN DIEGO — In this video exclusive, Endocrine Today Diabetes in Real Life columnist Susan Weiner, MS, RDN, CDE, CDN, speaks with Janis Roszler, MS, RD, LD/N, CDE, FAND, and Donna Rice, MBA, BSN, RN, CDE, FAADE, about sexual issues that can develop for people with diabetes and their partners.

Roszler explains that vaginal lubrication is a common concern for women with diabetes. Poor glucose control can contribute to urinary tract infections, which can make sexual activity uncomfortable. Also, extra weight, bruising from injections and pump equipment can cause a woman with diabetes to be self-conscious about her body. For men with diabetes, sexual issues go beyond the obvious erectile dysfunction and include lack of concentration and motivation that may come with variable blood glucose levels, Rice explains.

Diabetes educators can’t ignore sexual and relationship issues, Roszler said. Apart from diminished quality of life, these issues can lead to poor communication between partners who must work together on diabetes self-management and lack of focus on diabetes care, in general.

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