JOURNAL ARTICLE

Diabetes mellitus and sexuality—does it really matter?

Krzysztof Nowosielski, Agnieszka Drosdzol, Adam SipiƄski, Robert Kowalczyk, Violetta Skrzypulec
Journal of Sexual Medicine 2010, 7 (2): 723-35
19912505

INTRODUCTION: The extent to which diabetes may influence sexuality has not yet been established. Identifying the risk factors of female sexual dysfunctions will facilitate the introduction of effective therapeutic models that aim to normalize the glycemic control and will enhance sexual functioning.

AIMS: To evaluate the influence of diabetes mellitus on female sexual functions, behaviors and depressive symptoms as well as to establish the predictors for female sexual dysfunctions in diabetic subjects.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: To asses reported female sexual dysfunctions by using Female Sexual Function Index in diabetic females.

METHODS: A total of 544 females living in the upper Silesia region aged 18-55 years old were eligible for this questionnaire-based, retrospective, cross-section study. The study group included females with diabetes mellitus (N = 264), regardless its type and duration; healthy non-diabetic subjects were controls. The Blatt-Kuppermann Index was used to evaluate climacteric symptoms, the Back Depression Inventory-to screen for depressive symptoms and the Female Sexual Function Index-for sexual dysfunction in female (FSD).

RESULTS: Multiple logistic regression revealed that the risk of desire and arousal dysfunction was lower in respondents for whom having a satisfactory sexual life was extremely important compared to those for whom it was slightly important or not important at all (referent) (OR: 0.05 and 0.01, respectively). Respondents highly satisfied with sexual contacts with their partner were at lover risk of desire, arousal, and orgasmic disorders and FSD compared to referent subjects (OR: 0.12; 0.03; 0.01 and 0.03 respectively). Depressive symptoms were associated with higher prevalence of arousal disorders and FSD (OR: 13.6 and 3.57, respectively), diabetes-orgasmic dysfunctions (OR = 10.1).

CONCLUSIONS: In women, the presence of diabetes is an independent predictor of orgasmic dysfunctions. However, the presence of depressive symptoms, individual perception of sexual needs and partner-related factors are stronger predictors of female sexual dysfunctions.

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