As many as one in three women with type 1 diabetes is suffering from some form of sexual difficulty, according to a recently released study.
While the sexual difficulties men experience as a consequence of diabetes are usually physical side effects, such as erectile dysfunction from poor circulation and neuropathy in the penis, the sexual side effects women experience seem to be linked to depression rather than physical side effects.
More than 600 women were studied and 35 percent of those women reported symptoms of sexual dysfunction. Over half of the women experienced a loss of libido.
About half reported problems achieving orgasm, nearly half reported that reduced vaginal lubrication was an issue. About 40 percent of the women said their ability to be aroused was less than normal, and over 20 percent of the women reported painful intercourse.
Researchers looked at the women’s age, marital status, whether or not they had been through menopause, whether or not they had circulatory issues, and whether they were depressed. Marital status and depression appeared to be strongly linked to sexual dysfunction.
While questions about symptoms of depression, sexual functioning and sexual satisfaction should be a part of any woman’s annual physical examination, these are especially important questions to be asked of diabetic women.
Both depression and sexual dysfunction can be treated. There is no reason that any woman should have to live with depression or sexual dysfunction.