Women With Diabetes Report Low Sexual Satisfaction

Insulin-treated women more likely to report difficulty with lubrication and orgasm

MONDAY, July 30 (HealthDay News) -- Women with diabetes are more likely than those without diabetes to report low overall sexual satisfaction, with insulin-treated women at higher risk for problems such as lubrication and orgasm, according to a study published in the August issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

Using data from self-administered questionnaires, Kelli L. Copeland, from the University of California San Francisco, and colleagues examined the impact of diabetes on sexual function in a cohort of 2,270 ethnically diverse 40- to 80-year-old women.

The researchers found that 44.4 percent of participants were white, 21.4 percent had diabetes, and 6.1 percent were insulin-treated. Women with diabetes reported lower sexual satisfaction (odds ratio, 2.04 for insulin-treated and 1.42 for non-insulin-treated) compared to women without diabetes. Sexually active insulin-treated women with diabetes were more likely than sexually active women without diabetes to report lubrication and orgasm problems (odds ratios, 2.37 and 1.80, respectively). For women with diabetes, end-organ complications, including heart disease, stroke, renal dysfunction, and peripheral neuropathy, correlated with reduced sexual function in one or more domains.

"Based on this research, clinicians may want to consider actively assessing for sexual problems in diabetic women, particularly those taking insulin, and counsel diabetic women that prevention of end-organ complications may be important in preserving their sexual function," the authors write.

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