Let’s Talk About Sex (with Type 1 Diabetes)
This post is intended for ages 18 and up as it references adult only activities.
Having sex while having diabetes can be a little awkward, especially when its with someone knew or your first time with a insulin pump or CGM device.
The first time I ever had sex with my husband, he ripped off my insulin pump! But in his defense, he didn’t know I had it. After it was off, I told him it was my pump, but I don’t think he really understood what that meant. I played it “cool” and told him it wasn’t a big deal, but inside I was screaming “Oh crap, I don’t have another one!! Ahh, I really want to stay here, but my body is going to hate me in the morning!” I continued to play it cool, ended up falling asleep, spent the night, and dealt with my high blood sugars in the morning. I didn’t have a CGM at the time, so only I knew something was “off.”
Once we were having sleepovers more frequently, I started to tell him where my insulin pump was. He eventually learned that under no circumstances should he touch my pump. I also started leaving a few at his house just in case something else was to happen.
After dating a while longer, he began to understand type 1 diabetes, and mentioned that sex was effecting my blood sugar level. I was going low nearly every time we finished. He learned that juice and candy brought my blood sugars up, and would keep some nearby in case it was needed. I knew he was a keeper with all he did to look after me.
My husband has always left earlier than me to go to work. He still is my alarm clock to make sure I get up to make it to work in time. One morning, I never answered. And he kept calling. And I still didn’t answer. He called my dad, who couldn’t wake me up. In a panic mode, he left work, ran over to my dad’s house to find paramedics surrounding me as they pricked my toes to get test my blood sugar. Apparently, I was being resistant and was hiding my hands/fingers under my body while laying in bed. I was extremely low and gone into hypoglycemic shock. I scared the crap out of my boyfriend and father that morning.
Our sleepovers began to be more constant. His parents own a two-family house and their apartment was up for rent, so we decided to move in together. A few months after the first incident, it happened again. One morning, his mom was leaving for work and noticed my car still in the driveway. Thinking that was strange, she came looking for me, to find out I was still in bed sleeping. She tried to wake me up. And then called her son in a state of panic. He instructed her to give me juice and glucose tablets that were on our nightstand. He rushed home from work. He was glad to see that I had woken up, but was upset that he lost more time and money at work. That was the last straw. We needed to do something to fix my blood sugar issues, or we would end up breaking up. It was then that we discovered the Dexcom CGM, and decided I needed to have a continuous glucose monitor.
The CGM has been a lifesaver for both of us. Now-a-days, my husband will look at my CGM and refuses have sex with me when my blood sugar is on the lower side (typically less then 80mg/dL). I understand his logic, and will get up to drink a juicebox to fix the low blood sugar… but most of the time, that is all that’s needed to totally kill the mood!
Good luck, and stay safe.