ObjectiveThis study aimed to investigate the prevalence and risk factors associated with sexual dysfunction in a well-characterized cohort of women with type 1 diabetes.
Research design and methodsThe study was conducted in women enrolled in the long-term Epidemiology of Diabetes Interventions and Complications (EDIC) study, a North American study of men and women with type 1 diabetes. At year 10 of the EDIC study, 652 female participants were invited to complete a validated self-report measure of sexual function, standardized history and physical examinations, laboratory testing, and mood assessment.
ResultsOf the sexually active women with type 1 diabetes in the EDIC study, 35% met criteria for female sexual dysfunction (FSD). Women with FSD reported loss of libido (57%); problems with orgasm (51%), lubrication (47%), and arousal (38%); and pain (21%). Univariate analyses revealed a positive association between FSD and age (P = 0.0041), marital status (P = 0.0016), menopausal status (P = 0.0019), microvasculopathy (P = 0.0092), and depression (P = 0.0022). However, in a multivariate analysis, only depression (P = 0.004) and marital status (P = 0.003) were significant predictors of FSD.
ConclusionsFSD is common in women with type 1 diabetes and affects all aspects of sexual function and satisfaction. Depression is the major predictor of sexual dysfunction in women with type 1 diabetes. These findings suggest that women with type 1 diabetes should be routinely queried about the presence of sexual dysfunction and possible co-association with depression.