Low Sexual Satisfaction in Insulin Dependent Diabetic Women
Researchers at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) also found that diabetic women on insulin treatment were at higher risk for specific complications related to lubrication and orgasm.
Senior study author Alison J. Huang, assistant professor of medicine at the UCSF said, "Diabetes is a recognized risk factor for erectile dysfunction in men, but there have been almost no data to indicate whether it also affects sexual function in women."
Huang, along with lead author Kelli Copeland, of the UCSF Women's Health Clinical Research Centre and colleagues assessed a group of ethnically diverse middle aged and older women, to understand the link between diabetes and sexual function.
They sent questionnaires to 2,270 women between the ages of 40 to 80 years, who were diabetics on insulin-treatment, non-insulin-treated diabetics and non-diabetics.
These women self-reported details regarding sexual desire, frequency of sex, overall sexual satisfaction, and specific sexual problems, such as difficulty with lubrication, arousal, orgasm, or pain.
During the study, the link between diabetic end-organ complications such as stroke, heart disease, renal dysfunction and peripheral neuropathy, and sexual function was also studied.
Among the 2,270 participants, 486 (21.4 per cent) had diabetes. Among those, 139 (6.1 percent) were insulin-dependant. An average of, 63.7 percent of participants reported some sexual activity during the past three months.
Reporting of lower sexual satisfaction was more than two-fold higher in insulin-treated diabetic compared to non-diabetic women. The sexually active insulin-treated diabetic women were more than twice as likely to report problems with lubrication while 80 per cent had difficulty achieving an orgasm, compared to non-diabetic women.
Among all diabetic women, who had decreased sexual function, end-organ complications such as stroke, heart disease, renal dysfunction, and peripheral neuropathy were also more likely to occur, according to the study.
The results of the study have been published in the recent edition of the journal Obstetrics and Gynaecology.