AskNadia: I’m a Type 1 Who Has Lost Interest in Sex

Dear Nadia,

I have type 1 diabetes and my desire for sex has gone down because of my vaginal infection. My partner has been understanding but he does get sexually frustrated.

Judy H.

Dear Judy:

It can be very disheartening to lose sexual contact with one you love, especially if the reason for abstaining from sex isn’t a lack of desire. You want to have sex but can’t.

It would be more helpful if you could describe the symptoms of your vaginal infection and when it came on. Does it cause you pain? Have you consulted with a doctor? Does the condition have a name? Is there a chance it is connected to any drugs that you take? For example, some type 1s take medications from the gliflozin family. These drugs work by expelling excess glucose through the urinary tract. For opportunistic yeasts, all that glucose is a feast that allows them to reproduce and also settle in your vagina.

I would recommend that you keep close track of your infection by noting what symptoms it creates: discharge; odor; pain. If your infection is a simple yeast infection, there are over-the-counter medications you can try, such as creams or suppositories.

There is also the chance that your infection is caused by a venereal disease. I know that this is a delicate subject. If you are diagnosed as having a venereal disease, there’s the question of how you acquired it. Since I don’t know the sexual history or practices of you and your partner, I can only say that it is important for both of you to discuss previous and current sexual activity. If you have been with only him for some time and you have been monogamous, you’ll have to ask him to get tested for VD. (If neither of you has healthcare insurance, go to a public health clinic and get tested for free.)

I know that that would be a hard thing to ask, considering the implications, but he seems from your description to be a loving and supporting man who would agree to get tested to put both of your minds at rest.

There are other ways to bond sexually short of intercourse. Orgasms for both of you do not have to be events that only can occur for either of you during intercourse. Don’t forget simple cuddling to begin skin-to-skin contact—contact that can lead to more intimate activities (mutual masturbation, oral sex, etc.).

Once you’ve determined the cause of your infection and how to treat it, you’ll have a realistic idea of how long you and your partner will need to wait before both of you can confidently engage in intercourse.

Try these search terms in Google to get more information:

· Vaginal infection symptoms
· Treating vaginal infections
· How type 1 diabetes can affect the sex drive
· Ways type 1s can deal with a loss of sexual appetite

I wish you well.


Nadia’s feedback on your question is in no way intended to initiate or replace your healthcare professional’s therapy or advice. Please check in with your medical team to discuss your diabetes management concerns.

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About Nadia:

AskNadia (ranked #1 to 10 By Google), named “Best Diabetes Blog for 2017 by Healthline ; with 19 nominations, Nadia Al-Samarrie’s efforts has made her stand out as a pioneer and leading patient advocate in the diabetes community.

Nadia was not only born into a family with diabetes but also married into one. She was propelled at a young age into “caretaker mode,” and with her knowledge of the scarcity of resources, support, and understanding for people with diabetes, co-founded Diabetes Interview, now Diabetes Health magazine.

Nadia has been featured on ABC, NBC, CBS, and other major cable networks. Her publications, medical supply business, and website have been cited, recognized and published in the San Francisco Chronicle, The Wall Street Journal, Ann Landers advice column, former Chrysler chairman Lee Iacocca, Entrepreneur magazine, Houston News,, Brand Week, Drug Topics, and many other media outlets.

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