Diabetes mellitus and female sexuality: a review of 25 years' research

Diabet Med. 1998 Oct;15(10):809-15. doi: 10.1002/(SICI)1096-9136(199810)15:10<809::AID-DIA689>3.0.CO;2-Z.


Diabetes mellitus may cause debilitating somatic complications and a high psychosocial burden. Impaired sexual function (erectile dysfunction) is a well-established complication in men. Does diabetes also have an effect on sexuality of women? Since the first publication in 1971, only 15 studies in this area have been published and their results are contradictory. The purpose of this article is to offer a review of these results. As a conclusion, a new hypothesis on the specific influence of diabetes on female sexuality and suggestions for further research are formulated.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Arousal
  • Autonomic Nervous System / physiopathology
  • Coitus / physiology
  • Diabetes Complications
  • Diabetes Mellitus / physiopathology
  • Diabetes Mellitus / psychology*
  • Erectile Dysfunction / etiology
  • Erectile Dysfunction / physiopathology
  • Erectile Dysfunction / psychology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Orgasm
  • Sexuality*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Vagina / innervation
  • Vagina / physiopathology