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Diabetes and the birds and the bees

Discussion in 'Parents of Children with Type 1' started by Melancholywings, Aug 19, 2010.

  1. Melancholywings

    Melancholywings Approved members

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    I have a very 'personal' question that I've been dying to ask. And I just want to appologize now for it.:p
    DD is only 9 but is starting to get into more 'birds and the bees' questions. And I'm starting to prepare myself for more detailed questions that we'll get later - so as she grows up and starts asking more about sex I already have the answers to her questions (that I've rehearsed a million times in my head already because that's one of the scariest conversations ever). And I'm sure diabetes will come up in that conversation.

    So the big question is how does diabetes affect sexuality? And how does 'safe' sex differ with diabetes?
     
  2. Christopher

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    Maybe I am not understanding your question, but I don't think "safe sex" and diabetes have anything to do with each other. Practicing safe sex should be the same regardless of if the person has diabetes or not. Personally, at the age your daughter is I think you can have a conversation about sex without diabetes even entering the picture.

    When she does finally become sexually active I guess some of the discussion might center around wearing her pump during the act, or the amount of carbs burned/going low (similar to other physical activity). Some people find they have lack of libido. Nerve damage could cause some dysfunction. If she is active with a male with diabetes I guess you could talk about the fact that some males have erectile dysfunction due to diabetes. But I really think all that stuff is going to be way down the road. Just my two cents.

    Here is an article for YOU to read, if you are interested:

    http://www.diabetesselfmanagement.com/Articles/Diabetes-Basics/sexual_wellness/1/
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2010
  3. Lee

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    Search SixUntilMe...Kerrie has talked in the past about this issue - going low during sex, where to put the pump, testing before hand...
     
  4. Christopher

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    Right, I have read some of her blogs and they are good. But Kerrie is an adult. My point was that at the OP's daughter's age I would stick with the basics. I would think that she won't become active for a good 6 or 7 years?
     
  5. Melancholywings

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    Thank you both for that information, I'll look into those. I should have clarified more, but it's sooo akward to ask as is:)

    I was curious about going low during sex, if pumping is an obstical and if you tell your teen to test before engaging in anything? Like driving? I worry about her taking a school test when her blood sugar is wonky and her head isn't in the right place. And I'm worried about her as a teen making pretty big choices if her blood sugar is wonky.

    I know I'm way early for these questions, but the general basic questions are starting to come up. And I feel like I don't really understand how it could impact her later as an adult. Or how to have the sex talk when she's older. Can't the endo have that talk for me:)
     
  6. wildemoose

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    I would think that the only major diabetes-related concern would be that as a teenager, if her blood sugars are not in excellent control, getting pregnant would be a really bad thing, so she needs to be extra stringent about birth control. However, since I'm sure you don't want your teenage daughter getting pregnant, diabetes or not, this would probably be high on the agenda anyway.

    There are a couple of practical issues with sex and diabetes that have already been mentioned (going low, where to put the pump) but I have to say that no one ever sat me down and had a conversation about them, and I managed to figure it out. :) I'm sure your daughter will too when the time comes.
     
  7. Caldercup

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    There's some wonderful books by two brothers with diabetes and they touch on what can happen during things like kissing, and dating, etc. -- from a T1D perspective.

    487 Really Cool Tips for Kids with Diabetes

    I just love these books! And they are very supportive, reassuring, and informative for kids of this age. "By kids, for kids"
     
  8. StillMamamia

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    You could always ask the endo about the basics (before the questions arise). Like testing before, can the pump be removed (should some in sulin be given before or not), if it's best to have BGs a bit higher before sex, etc, etc

    Not sure what you mean about the safe sex part.
     
  9. PatriciaMidwest

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    I totally agree, and this is how we approached it now that our dd is a teen. She'll figure out the pump thing all on her own and doesn't need my help ;)
     
  10. hypercarmona

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    The simple answer, at least from my perspective as an adult with type 1, is that you treat sex as exercise and test/alter insulin accordingly. In addition, a low is a low, and it needs to be treated regardless of what else is going on. It's overwhelmingly important that whomever you're with knows 1) that you have diabetes, 2)the symptoms of a low, and 3) what to do if a low happens "during". Of course, like another poster mentioned, birth control is very important if sex is even remotely possible (but it sounds like it isn't for several years). That would probably be a good conversation for the endo when the time is right, because depending on the type of BC, it could interfere with BG control.

    The pump is not what is annoying, for me at least, it's the tubing. More or less it's the same as what happens when sleeping with the pump, it ends up squashed and the tubing pulled unless it's in a pocket or clip.

    I'm not sure what to say about the "big choices" or "safe sex" with diabetes. Everyone reacts differently to severe lows, but mild lows usually don't turn off rational thought processes. Beyond that, the technical "details" of intimacy are otherwise the same as for people without diabetes. I suppose it could depend on whether or not there are drugs or alcohol involved, but I'm not sure you could blame deciding to have sex on being low. It really depends on the individual and if they experience personality changes when they're low, and at what threshold.

    Other than that, good for you for taking this into consideration. I wish I had been able to talk to my mother about any of this, or anyone who knew what I should expect from my D during intimate situations. My pediatrician was clueless, and by the time I had an endo, I'd been married for two years.
     
  11. Melancholywings

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    Seriously thank you guys so much. You've given me a lot of information. I feel like at least I know where to go now to be better informed.
     
  12. MamaC

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    Perhaps a chat with the endo before the specifics come up and a, "We'll discuss it when you need to know," when the general subject is brought up. Sometimes those are not topic-specific questions, but trial balloons to see just how far a parent is willing to take a diuscussion.

    I wouldn't go there at all until YOU as the parent are comfortable with the conversation(s) that will take place.
     

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