Sexual dysfunction in diabetic women: prevalence and differences in type 1 and type 2 diabetes mellitus

Diabetes Metab Syndr Obes. 2015 Feb 11;8:97-101. doi: 10.2147/DMSO.S71376. eCollection 2015.


Background: The aim of this work was to evaluate the impact of diabetes on female sexuality and to highlight any differences between sexuality in the context of type 1 and type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM).

Methods: The subjects selected were 49 women with type 1 DM, 24 women with type 2 DM, and 45 healthy women as controls. Each participant was given the nine-item Female Sexual Function Index questionnaire to complete. The metabolic profile was evaluated by body mass index and glycosylated hemoglobin assay.

Results: The prevalence of sexual dysfunction (total score ≤30) was significantly higher in the type 1 DM group (25/49, 51%; 95% confidence interval [CI] 18-31) than in the control group (4/45, 9%; 95% CI 3-5; P=0.00006); there were no significant variations in the type 2 DM group (4/24, 17%; 95% CI 3-4) versus the control group (P=0.630, not statistically significant). The mean total score was significantly lower in the type 1 DM group (30.2±6.9) versus the control group (36.5±4.9; P=0.0003), but there was no significant difference between the type 2 DM group and the control group (P=0.773). With regard to specific questionnaire items, the mean values for arousal, lubrication, dyspareunia, and orgasm were significantly lower only in the type 1 DM group versus the control group. The mean values for desire were reduced in type 1 and type 2 DM groups versus control group.

Conclusion: Type 1 DM is associated with sexual dysfunction. This may be due to classic neurovascular complications or to the negative impact of the disease on psychosocial factors. Larger and ideally longitudinal studies are necessary to better understand the relationship between DM and sexual dysfunction.

Keywords: Female Sexual Function Index; diabetes mellitus; female sexuality.