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Sexual dysfunction in portuguese women with type 2 diabetes

Marques, N1; Cardoso, J2

1: USF Monte Pedral, Portugal; 2: Instituto Superior de Ciências da Saúde Egas Moniz

Objectives: In Portugal, the estimated prevalence of Diabetes Mellitus (DM) in women is 10.9%, with type 2 DM (T2D) accounting for 90% of the cases. The reported prevalence of female sexual dysfunction (FSD) in women with DM varies between 25-71% worldwide, but the genesis of the disease is still poorly understood. This study aimed to determine the prevalence of Female Sexual Dysfunction (FSD) in Portuguese women with T2D, to evaluate the impact of T2D in various domains of sexuality and to assess the influence of biopsychosocial characteristics on female sexual function and satisfaction.

Material and Methods: A total of 285 women between the ages of 45 and 70, of which 112 have T2D and 173 do not have T2D, took part in this cross-sectional study conducted at a single clinical center in the Lisbon region. A clinical questionnaire and the following self-completion instruments where used: Female Sexual Function Index (FSFI), New Sexual Satisfaction Scale (NSSS) and Brief Symptom Inventory (BSI).

Results: The prevalence of FSD in the sample was significantly higher (χ2(1)= -12.978, p<.001) in women with T2D (70.9%) than in women without T2D (46.5%) and the total score on FSFI was significantly lower (t(226)=3.285, p<.001) in diabetic women (M=19.35, SD=10.14) compared to nondiabetic women (M=23.74, SD=9.58). T2D was also significantly associated with lower scores in all FSFI’s domains (F(6,221)=4.236, p<.001) and NSSS (t(143)=- 3.617, p<0.001). In women with T2D there was a significant negative relationship between BSI score and FSFI score (r=-.248, p=.027) and between age and the domains of desire (r=-.211, p=.025) and arousal (r=-.194, p=.044). Duration of the disease, level of metabolic control and presence of disease complications had no impact on sexual function. In a regression analysis, the presence of T2D was not a predictor of female sexual function and satisfaction.

Conclusion: Despite the high prevalence of FSD and the lower FSFI and NSSS scores in women with T2D, the presence of the disease was not a predictor of functioning or sexual satisfaction and markers of the disease were not associated with the sexual function of diabetic women. There remains a need for further research oriented to the multiplicity of factors implicated in FSD in T2D.


Work supported by industry: no.

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