Women With Diabetes Mellitus Are Less Satisfied With Sex
Women who suffer from diabetes mellitus (commonly referred to just as diabetes) engage in sexual activity as often as women who are healthy, but they enjoy it less, according to a new study published Friday in Obstetrics & Gynecology.
MedPage Today reports that, while diabetic women generally report low sexual satisfaction, the effect is even stronger in diabetic women who take insulin, according to the new study, which was reported by Alison Huang, MD, of the University of California San Francisco, and her colleagues.
The researchers noticed that diabetic women on insulin were also less likely to report that they were engaging in at least monthly sexual activity than those with the disease who were not on insulin. Overall, however, there were no big differences in sexual desire or activity among diabetics versus healthy women. The researchers wrote:
“While many diabetic women are interested and engaged in sexual activity, diabetes is associated with a markedly decreased sexual quality of life in women.”
While diabetes mellitus is already an established risk factor for sexual dysfunction in males, its effect on the sexual function of females is not understood very well. In order to understand it better, they studied the relationship between diabetes and sexual function in middle-aged and older women, reports The Examiner.
The test group was made up of 2,270 participants aged 40-80 years, and used self-administered questionnaires. The questions included several topics, like: “sexual desire, frequency of sexual activity, overall sexual satisfaction, and specific sexual problems (difficulty with lubrication, arousal, orgasm, or pain).”
Included in the study’s participants were insulin-treated diabetic women, non-insulin-treated diabetic women, and non-diabetic women. The relationships between diabetic end-organ complications, like heart disease, renal dysfunction, stroke, and peripheral neuropathy, and sexual function were also evaluated.
Among women in the study who were sexually active, insulin-treated diabetic women had problems with lubrication and orgasm more often than non-diabetic women. Also, all women who suffered from diabetes mellitus and had end-organ complications showed a decrease in sexual function in at least one area.