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Sexual dysfunction in diabetic women: prevalence and differences in type 1 and type 2 diabetes mellitus

Authors Mazzilli R, Imbrogno N, Elia J, Delfino M, Bitterman O, Napoli A, Mazzilli F

Received 19 July 2014

Accepted for publication 6 October 2014

Published 11 February 2015 Volume 2015:8 Pages 97—101

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/DMSO.S71376

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Professor Ming-Hui Zou


Rossella Mazzilli, Norina Imbrogno, Jlenia Elia, Michele Delfino, Olimpia Bitterman, Angela Napoli, Fernando Mazzilli

Department of Clinical and Molecular Medicine, Sant'Andrea Hospital, Unit of Diabetology and Endocrinology, University of Rome Sapienza, Rome, Italy


Background: The aim of this work was to evaluate the impact of diabetes on female sexuality and to highlight any differences between sexuality in the context of type 1 and type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM).
Methods: The subjects selected were 49 women with type 1 DM, 24 women with type 2 DM, and 45 healthy women as controls. Each participant was given the nine-item Female Sexual Function Index questionnaire to complete. The metabolic profile was evaluated by body mass index and glycosylated hemoglobin assay.
Results: The prevalence of sexual dysfunction (total score ≤30) was significantly higher in the type 1 DM group (25/49, 51%; 95% confidence interval [CI] 18–31) than in the control group (4/45, 9%; 95% CI 3–5; P=0.00006); there were no significant variations in the type 2 DM group (4/24, 17%; 95% CI 3–4) versus the control group (P=0.630, not statistically significant). The mean total score was significantly lower in the type 1 DM group (30.2±6.9) versus the control group (36.5±4.9; P=0.0003), but there was no significant difference between the type 2 DM group and the control group (P=0.773). With regard to specific questionnaire items, the mean values for arousal, lubrication, dyspareunia, and orgasm were significantly lower only in the type 1 DM group versus the control group. The mean values for desire were reduced in type 1 and type 2 DM groups versus control group.
Conclusion: Type 1 DM is associated with sexual dysfunction. This may be due to classic neurovascular complications or to the negative impact of the disease on psychosocial factors. Larger and ideally longitudinal studies are necessary to better understand the relationship between DM and sexual dysfunction.

Keywords: diabetes mellitus, female sexuality, Female Sexual Function Index

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