Sweet blood with bitter consequences : Sexual dysfunction in diabetic women

Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of Dermatology and Andrology, Faculty of Medicine, Benha University, Benha, Egypt

2 dermatology and andrology dept. Benha faculty of medicine


Background: Prevalence of diabetes mellitus (DM) is on the rise. Its effect on different body systems is well known. Sexual dysfunctions (SD) in men and women may be related to DM. However, SD is more difficult to diagnose and treat in women than in men because of the intricacy of the female sexual response. Also, the literature is limited addressing female sexual dysfunction in DM, and this aspect of female health, is often ignored in clinical practice in women with DM.
Objective: : To determine the frequency and types of SD and its causative factors among the diabetic women.
Patients and methods: This cross sectional study used a self-report questionnaire taken from the FSFI with addition of questions suiting the purpose of the study. Participants of this study were 407 married women with regular sexual activity who attended the outpatient clinics at the National Institute of Diabetes Mellitus in Cairo during the period from September to December 2018.
Results: The commonest age group of women was 40-49 years, most of them were obese and most of them can only read and write. Most participants (42%) suffered from diabetes for more than 10 years and 70.7% were of type II diabetes. Diabetic complications included peripheral neuropathy, hypertension and coronary artery disease. At least one SD was present in 66.3% of participants including dyspareunia followed by sexual dissatisfaction followed by low libido. Duration and control of diabetes, BMI, age and diabetic complications were determining factors for the occurrence of SD.
Conclusion: SD are common in diabetic women. The most commonly encountered SD are dyspareunia, sexual dissatisfaction and low libido.