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Sexual dysfunction among women with Diabetes Mellitus.


As a result of the impact of diabetes on multiple body systems, women may suffer from medical and psychological problems, including sexual dysfunction. Evidence suggests that healthy sexual functioning, which is often neglected, is an important contributor to women's sense of well-being and quality of life. It is worth mentioning that women and their clinicians often avoid discussion of this topic.The objectives of the study were; To measure the proportion of sexual dysfunction among diabetic women attending the Diabetic Care Center Jeddah. To describe the association between sexual function among diabetic women and socio-demographic, psychological variables and complications of diabetes. To describe the predictors of sexual dysfunction among diabetic females.


A cross sectional study was conducted among diabetic female patients registered in the Diabetic Care Center, King Fahd Hospital, Jeddah from 2/11/2010 to 23/11/2010. The study involved those who were married more than one year, aged from 18 years to 50 years, known diabetic for at least one year and not having any other health problem or complications. The sample size was calculated to be 289. A standardized questionnaire was used to collect data. It included items on socio-demographic data, medical history, the Diabetes Quality of Life, emotional factor, psychological factor andsexual dysfunction.


Three hundred women were recruited. Most of the participants (70.6 %) were > 40 years. The mean age was 39.5+7.1 years. Type II diabetics were 80.3 % of the subjects. The most common component of sexual dysfunction was lack of desire (83.7%), and the least was satisfaction disorder ( 21.7%). Considering Quality Of Life(QOL), impact of symptoms was statistically significantly associated with age, duration of marriage and duration of diabetes (P=0.001,0.008 and 0.017, respectively). The perceptions of quality of health component of QOL was statistically significantly associated with age, duration of diabetes and complications of diabetes (p=0.008,0.005 and 0.001, respectively). Disorders in all of the components of sexual response cycle were statistically significantly associated with age (p < 0.001). Age and duration of marriage showed significant negative correlation with total score of sexual dysfunction (correlation coefficient of -0.249 and -0.226, respectively and a p<0.001 in both cases).


In this study, age was significantly related to dysfunction in all of the components FSD. Duration of marriage was significantly associated with most of the components of FSD. Significant negative correlation was established between sexual dysfunction and age in years, duration of marriage, total quality of life and depression. Diabetic women should receive appropriate counseling for depression or emotional issues. This should help improve sexual function. Women and their clinicians should address the issue of sexuality. Thus, primary care physicians should be trained and prepared to address this issue. Adding a depression care manager to an existing diabetes management team can be effective in reducing depressive symptoms at a reasonable cost and can improve quality of life for diabetic women. Behavioral interventions are needed in addition to routine diabetes care to improve sexual function, particularly in Primary Care.