Below the Belt: Sexual Dysfunction Overlooked in Women With
A recent study led by Belgian researchers found that among more than 750 adults with diabetes 36% of men and 33% of women reported sexual dysfunction.

Sexual dysfunction was more common in women with type 1 diabetes, at 36%, compared with 26% for those with type 2 diabetes. The most commonly reported issues were decreased sexual desire, lubrication problems, orgasmic dysfunction, and pain. Body image problems and fear of hypoglycemia also affect sexuality and intimacy, leading to "sexual distress." Female sexual dysfunction has been identified as a "major predictor" of depression, she added, which in turn reduces libido.

Treatments for women can include lubricants, local estrogen, and medications that are prescribed off-label such as sildenafil. The same is true of testosterone therapy, which can be used to boost libido. Having psychotherapy embedded within the diabetes team and "integrated throughout the whole service" means that the problem can be identified and treatment offered.