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Lack of information about sexuality in women with diabetes

90% of women with diabetes say they have never spoken to a healthcare professional about the impact of this disease on their sexuality. A striking fact if you consider the importance of diabetes in menstruation, pregnancy or menopause.

Diabetes is a chronic metabolic disease very present today. But despite this, the number of women with diabetes who have received information about how this disease affects their sexuality is very small. A topic we address on International Women’s Day.

Either about the impact of the diabetes itself in its sexuality and/or on the effect that some processes associated with their gender have on diabetes control, information is very scarce.

The lack of information and guidance from healthcare professionals not only leaves women feeling under-resourced, but also leaves many feeling bewildered and even guilt-ridden.

This has been one of the key issues that have been addressed during the Diabetes Experience Dayorganized by Diabetes Channelwhere the data of an online survey that was carried out on more than 500 women with diabetes from all over Spain, in collaboration with the platform of women with diabetes, were presented. devil.

A taboo subject

According to the survey, more than 90% of the women claims to have never discussed their sexuality and its impact on their blood sugar levels with a healthcare professional.

And it is that, the 93% of the respondents did not receive information at any time about the effect of menopause on glycemia, iethe 60% recognizes the same situation regarding the menstrual cycle.

“Many women consider it taboo to talk to their endocrine team about how diabetes affects their sexuality,” he points out María José Salmerón, president of the diabetes association in Albacete and a person with diabetes.

Some topics as important as the preparation or planning of a pregnancy, or even the metabolic effect of being pregnant, are topics that are usually avoided in the medical consultation, as pointed out by doctor María José Picón, from the Hospital Verge de la Victoria in Malaga.

“The 50% of women with diabetes do not plan their pregnancy with their diabetes care team, even undergoing assisted reproduction techniques”, explains Picón.

The lack of information, very present

On the other hand, the survey also confirms that almost 6 out of 10 women they recognize having had to search for information on your own

Thus, the 75% states that his healthcare professional has never told him about it effect of contraceptives in the management of diabetes.

Women diabetes sexuality
Image of the ‘Diabetes Experience Day’ event

A panorama that highlights the lack of information surrounding this reality and to which are added other issues that remain unresolved, such as sick leave for pregnant women with diabetes or the problem that supposes that even 70% of the women asked feel that the responsibility for taking care of the children is not equal.

“All this shows that even the initial education that women receive is basically aimed at self-care, probably fundamentally based on the idea of ​​procreation”, clarifies the psychologist Gemma Peralta.

In this same line, the 75% of the women who have been asked express one feeling of guilt for not knowing how to control diabetes in situations such as menstruation, pregnancy or menopause.

There is still much to do

As a result of the debate held, the lack of information that continues to revolve around women’s sexuality has become evident, as well as the need to carry out more studies that make the reality of women with diabetes visible.

The nutritionist at Hospital Sant Joan de Déu in Barcelona, ​​Marina Llobetensures that “there is a need to plan and carry out studies with a gender perspective to provide scientific evidence to the experiences perceived and reported by women who have diabetes or who are carers of people with diabetes”.

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