Sexually transmitted infections (STIs)
If you’re planning to have sex, the first thing you need to think about is how to keep yourself safe. First, this means using contraception to prevent pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
STIs are an issue for everyone, but if you have diabetes they can be riskier. Like other illnesses and infections, you’ll be more susceptible to STIs if your blood glucose is high, and if you develop an STI it can cause your blood glucose levels to rise alarmingly, putting you at risk of more severe problems like diabetic ketoacidosis.
To make this more complicated, it is not always possible to get rid of STIs once you have one. Genital herpes, for example, has no cure, while other infections occasionally become resistant to antibiotics, like gonorrhoea. This is why it’s so important to practise safe sex and avoid getting an STI in the first place.
Most STIs can be avoided by using barriers (such as condoms or dams) during sex, while some others, such as herpes, genital warts and pubic lice, require avoidance with the affected areas. You can find more information from the NHS by clicking here.
As well as infections transmitted from your partner during sex, high blood glucose can also increase the risk of other infections. Thrush, a common fungal infection that causes itching and mild discharge, is a common problem for people with high blood glucose because of increased levels of glucose in the urine. Sex can also make it more likely that you’ll get this type of infection.