Intimacy with an insulin pump
I’m Jaime, a Medtronic employee, and a wife living with diabetes. Valentine’s Day is right around the corner and I’m lucky to have the best Valentine in the world – my amazing husband. So, what better time to discuss diabetes and intimacy?
I wear the MiniMed™ 780G system to help manage my daily life with diabetes. The system helps me make many decisions throughout the day and night, including navigating that extra special time with my husband.
Planning for spontaneity
Yes, I know spontaneity can’t be planned. But a little planning is necessary to enjoy the moment when you have diabetes. I know that when being intimate with my husband, it’s also important for me to feel my best. Because of this I typically try to plan ahead in the sense that I at least know where my glucose levels stand. I do this by taking a peek at the trends of my glucose on my insulin pump. If it looks like I’m starting to trend down, I know that I need to get a drink of juice or grab some candy (enter all the Valentine’s Day candy!).
Disconnecting from my insulin pump
Once I know that my blood sugar is in a comfortable range, then the question of what to do with my pump comes next. For me, the simple solution has always been to just suspend insulin delivery, disconnect my pump and set it on the dresser.
Because let’s be honest, the last thing I want to worry about in those moments is getting tangled up in the tubing or accidently pulling something out. Plus, keeping it on my dresser allows it to be close enough for me to hear any potential alerts so I can act if needed!
Afterward, most of the time I actually need to treat — I tend to go low most of the time after these moments. I reconnect my pump, resume insulin delivery, and check my sugar levels then I take action if needed. Good time to put that Valentine’s candy to work!
Communicating about my diabetes
My husband has never had any issues with my pump, infusion set, or sensor — especially since he knows that it’s part of who I am. In my experience, having a discussion about the insulin pump and CGM prior to the intimate moment can help make the experience go more smoothly for both parties.
I wore an insulin pump when I first met my husband, so he’s never known me any other way. The pump has been a third wheel for most of our relationship! Any time my pump alarm went off or my diabetes has tried to be a guest star in the experience, we use the opportunity to laugh about it. We just make a point to not let my diabetes do anything to deter the moment.
I married a gem of a man, but the way he handles my life with diabetes with so much grace, compassion, and empathy makes me extremely grateful to have found him.
Life with diabetes is complicated enough so I try to make intimate moments with my husband as easy as possible.
What tips do you have when it comes to intimacy and diabetes? Share them with the community below!
[Originally published 2017-02-17. Updated 2024-02-07]
Important safety information: MiniMed™ 780G system with SmartGuard™ technology with Guardian™ 4 sensor
The MiniMed™ 780G system is intended for continuous delivery of basal insulin at selectable rates, and the administration of insulin boluses at selectable amounts for the management of type 1 diabetes mellitus in persons seven years of age and older requiring insulin as well as for the continuous monitoring and trending of glucose levels in the fluid under the skin. The MiniMed™ 780G system includes SmartGuard™ technology, which can be programmed to automatically adjust insulin delivery based on the continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) sensor glucose values and can suspend delivery of insulin when the sensor glucose (SG) value falls below or is predicted to fall below predefined threshold values.
The Medtronic MiniMed™ 780G system consists of the following devices: MiniMed™ 780G insulin pump, the Guardian™ 4 transmitter, the Guardian™ 4 sensor, One-press serter, the Accu-Chek™ Guide Link blood glucose meter, and the Accu-Chek™ Guide test strips. The system requires a prescription from a healthcare professional.
The Guardian™ 4 sensor is intended for use with the MiniMed™ 780G system and the Guardian 4 transmitter to monitor glucose levels for the management of diabetes. The sensor is intended for single use and requires a prescription. The Guardian™ 4 sensor is indicated for up to seven days of continuous use.
The Guardian™ 4 sensor is not intended to be used directly to make therapy adjustments while the MiniMed™ 780G is operating in manual mode. All therapy adjustments in manual mode should be based on measurements obtained using a blood glucose meter and not on values provided by the Guardian™ 4 sensor. The Guardian™ 4 sensor has been studied and is approved for use in patients ages 7 years and older and in the arm insertion site only. Do not use the Guardian™ 4 sensor in the abdomen or other body sites including the buttocks, due to unknown or different performance that could result in hypoglycemia or hyperglycemia.
WARNING: Do not use the SmartGuard™ feature for people who require less than 8 units or more than 250 units of total daily insulin per day. A total daily dose of at least 8 units, but no more than 250 units, is required to operate in the SmartGuard™ feature.
WARNING: Do not use the MiniMed™ 780G system until appropriate training has been received from a healthcare professional. Training is essential to ensure the safe use of the MiniMed™ 780G system.
WARNING: Do not use SG values to make treatment decisions, including delivering a bolus, while the pump is in Manual Mode. When the SmartGuard™ feature is active and you are no longer in Manual Mode, the pump uses an SG value, when available, to calculate a bolus amount. However, if your symptoms do not match the SG value, use a BG meter to confirm the SG value. Failure to confirm glucose levels when your symptoms do not match the SG value can result in the infusion of too much or too little insulin, which may cause hypoglycemia or hyperglycemia.
Pump therapy is not recommended for people whose vision or hearing does not allow for the recognition of pump signals, alerts, or alarms. The safety of the MiniMed™ 780G system has not been studied in pregnant women, persons with type 2 diabetes, or in persons using other anti-hyperglycemic therapies that do not include insulin. For complete details of the system, including product and important safety information such as indications, contraindications, warnings and precautions associated with system and its components, please consult https://www.medtronicdiabetes.com/important-safety-information#minimed-… the appropriate user guide at https://www.medtronicdiabetes.com/download-library