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University Toolkit: Sex and relationships

How to navigate new relationships at university while also considering your type 1 diabetes.
Content last reviewed and updated: 18.10.2023
Two female students in a relationship and hugging


University may see the start of new sexual relationships. It’s always a good idea to tell a new partner that you have type 1 diabetes, so they know what to do in case of an emergency and understand that you might need to stop to treat a hypo. You can find out more about sex and relationships on the Diabetes UK website:

All contraceptive methods are suitable for people with type 1 diabetes. Your GP will be available to discuss these with you and help you find one that will suit you best. You can also visit our main contraception page to find out more.

All infections, including sexually transmitted infections (STIs), are trickier and may take longer to get rid of when you have type 1 diabetes. Free STI testing kits are available at your GP if you think you may have an infection. For more information visit the NHS website.

Sex with an insulin pump shouldn’t be a problem. Here are some tips to make it go smoothly:

  • It helps to explain to your partner what your insulin pump is so they understand that it is an important part of your routine diabetes care
  • You may want to disconnect your insulin pump during sex but don’t forget to reconnect afterwards
  • If you don’t disconnect, you might want to place the pump under a pillow or beside you to prevent tangled tubing or pulling on your infusion site

Remember that sex is a form of exercise! Think about the possibility of hypoglycaemia as you would with any other form of exercise and keep hypo treatments nearby.

If you are thinking about trying for a baby it is really important to plan for pregnancy well in advance of conception to ensure that you have a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby.

For more information on pregnancy and type 1 diabetes visit our website and download our pregnancy toolkit.

Watch the Diabetes UK video about pregnancy planning on the Diabetes UK website.

In partnership with:

Diabetes UK, NHS England and NHS Norwich and Norfolk University Hospitals partner logos