Diabetes has been associated with sexual problems in both men and women. We know that sexual function is related to biological, mental, social and cultural factors. Previous research suggests that problems related to sex are common in adults with diabetes. In fact, more than half of men with diabetes report sexual dysfunction at some time in their lives.The rates of sexual dysfunction in men with diabetes are three times higher than in men without diabetes. However, the prevalence of sexual dysfunction in women with diabetes has not been studied in depth.
One-third of adults with diabetes have sexual dysfunction
In a new study from Belgium, adults with diabetes completed an online survey. This survey included questions on sexual function, emotional health, anxiety and diabetes distress. Sexual dysfunction was reported in 36% of men and 33% of women. Erectile dysfunction and orgasmic dysfunction were the two most common sexual dysfunctions for men. Women were most likely to report decreased sexual desire, lubrication problems and orgasmic dysfunction. All of these problems were also linked to longer duration of diabetes, high waist circumference, and older age in men.
Sexual dysfunction linked to greater diabetes distress and worse emotional well-being and anxiety for women
More women with sexual dysfunction also had low emotional well-being, more diabetes distress and moderate to severe anxiety compared with women without sexual dysfunction. More women with sexual dysfunction reported low emotional well-being compared with men with sexual dysfunction. More men with sexual dysfunction had elevated diabetes distress compared with men without sexual dysfunction.
In conclusion, this study shows that men and women with diabetes have different distressing sexual dysfunctions. We know that these problems are common in both men and women with type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Also, more men and women with sexual dysfunctions reported high levels of diabetes distress.
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