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J Sex Res. 2010 Mar;47(2):199-211. doi: 10.1080/00224491003632834.

Sexual dysfunction in women with diabetes mellitus.

Author information

  • 1Sexological Clinic, Mental Health Services, Psychiatric Center Rigshospitalet, 2100, Copenhagen, Denmark. annamaria@giraldi.dk


Diabetes mellitus (DM) is an increasing health concern throughout the world. DM is categorized as either type 1 (DM-1) or type 2 (DM-2), where DM-1 represents a lack of insulin production, and DM-2 is characterized by a relative lack of insulin (i.e., decreased sensitivity to the effect of insulin). DM has long been considered a risk factor for sexual dysfunction in men and women, although the evidence in women is less clear. This review attempts to give an overview of female sexual dysfunction in women with DM. Although women with DM are at higher risk of developing sexual dysfunction than women without DM, there is great variability in results across studies, with the incidence of sexual dysfunction in women with DM generally linked less to organic factors and more to psychological factors, especially coexisting depression. This review hypothesizes several presumed causes for such variation in findings across studies and uses these explanations as the basis for a discussion of differences between men's and women's sexuality.

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