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Diabetes and Women’s Sexual Health

Not surpsingly, diabetes can affect a woman’s sexual health. Specifically, female sexual dysfunction (FSD) happens more often to women with diabetes than to non-diabetic women. 

This was a finding by Italian researchers who analyzed scientific studies on the subject. They recently published their results online in the Journal of Sexual Medicine.

FSD is a blanket term for many types of sexual problems, including pain during intercourse, low desire, and problems with physical arousal and orgasm.

For women with diabetes, vaginal dryness is a common problem. Poor lubrication in the vagina can make intercourse uncomfortable or painful. Diabetic women may also experience low desire. They are less interested in sex than they used to be.

In addition, the Italian study found that depression is more frequent in diabetic women when compared to women without diabetes. Depression can diminish a woman’s sex drive. Similarly, managing diabetes day-to-day can cause stress and anxiety, leading to problems in the bedroom.

Fortunately, many of these problems can be treated. Sometimes, making lifestyle changes, especially ones that keep diabetes under control, are enough to turn the situation around. A woman may try a vaginal lubricant to make intercourse more comfortable. Open communication with partners can also be a big help. Some couples decide to try counseling or sex therapy.


The Journal of Sexual Medicine

Pontiroli, Antonio E., et al.

“Female Sexual Dysfunction and Diabetes: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis”

(Full-text. First published online: January 24, 2013)

Sexual Medicine Society of North America

“Diabetes and Female Sexual Satisfaction”

(August 23, 2012)