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J Sex Med. 2012 May;9(5):1374-81. doi: 10.1111/j.1743-6109.2012.02664.x. Epub 2012 Feb 29.

Sexual functioning and distress among premenopausal women with uncomplicated type 1 diabetes.

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  • 1Department of Urology, Larissa University Hospital, Faculty of Medicine, University of Thessaly, Larissa, Greece.



Current studies indicate that women with type 1 diabetes (T1DM) have a high prevalence of sexual disorders although data on the prevalence of sexual dysfunction are limited when sexual distress is included.


The frequency and the possible correlates of distressful sexual disorders in a highly selected group of type 1 diabetic women.


The sexual function, sexual distress, and general health status were assessed in 44 premenopausal women with uncomplicated T1DM and 47 healthy controls, using the Female Sexual Function Index (FSFI), the Female Sexual Distress Scale (FSDS), and the General Health Questionnaire-28 (GHQ-28).


The impact of sexual distress on the frequency of female sexual dysfunction (FSD).


The frequency of sexual disorders according to the FSFI was significantly higher in diabetic compared to control women (25% vs. 8.5%, respectively, P < 0.05). Diabetic women had significantly lower median (first to third quartile) total FSFI score compared to control group (30.55 [26.08-33.08] vs. 33.50 [30.70-34.30], P = 0.001). Desire, arousal, and satisfaction were the sexual domains significantly affected in the diabetic group. Diabetic women had significantly higher median (first to third quartile) FSDS score compared to control group (6.5 [2.3-15.8] vs. 4.0 [1.0-10.5] P = 0.043). FSD (combined pathological FSFI and FSDS scores) was present in higher proportion of diabetic women (15.9%) compared to controls (2.1%) (P = 0.020). GHQ-28 score was comparable between the groups. However, in the diabetic group, FSD was related with anxiety, depression, and low educational level. Diabetes-related factors were not associated with FSD.


Pre-menopausal women with uncomplicated T1DM have significantly higher frequency of FSD compared to healthy controls, when the criterion of sexual distress is included. Psychosomatic and contextual factors implicated in sexual distress are correlates of FSD.

© 2012 International Society for Sexual Medicine.

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