and female sexual dysfunction
may be a pointer to undiagnosed diabetes or an indicator of a complication of diabetes.
Because of this it is important that healthcare professionals are:
- Alert to the possibility of the problem.
- Confident to instigate a consultation about it.
In the five years to April 2002, 1,983 studies were published on sexual disorders in men with diabetes, but for the same period of time only 13 studies were published on the same subject on women (Balance Nov/Dec 2006).
The following statistics show why...
- Over half of all men with diabetes may be affected by impotence. The problem increases with age. More than half of men with diabetes over the age of 60 have some erection problems. (Sex and diabetes: A guide to erection problems)
- Men with diabetes have more than a three-fold increased prevalence of erectile dysfunction compared with men without diabetes (Dey J and Shepherd MD. Evaluation and treatment of erectile dysfunction in men with diabetes mellitus. Mayo Clinic Proceedings 2000; 77:276-82).
- In a study of men over 70 with erectile dysfunction, it was estimated that over 80 per cent of cases were due to organic not psychogenic causes (Impotence in diabetes 2002 Ed. Price, DE and Alexander WD).
- Research in which 194 men with diabetes answered a questionnaire has shown that there is not only a problem about being open about these issues, but there is also a lot of misunderstanding.
| 9 per cent defined erectile dysfunction incorrectly|
| 30 per cent were unaware that it is a complication of diabetes|
| 42 per cent thought it was inevitable with age|
- A recent study of a clinic population revealed that five per cent of men with erectile dysfunction also had undiagnosed diabetes.(Sairam K, Kulinskaya E, Boustead GB, Hanbury DC, McNicholas TA. Prevalence of undiagnosed diabetes mellitus in male erectile dysfunction. BJU International. 2001;88(1):68–71).
- Twenty five per cent of all women with diabetes and about 50 per cent of men will experience some kind of sexual problems or loss of sexual desire as a result of their condition.
- Women with diabetes reported significantly more problems with sexual dysfunction than women without diabetes, 27 per cent compared to 15 per cent.
Reviewed November 2009