"I'’m in my early sixties, have had Type 1 diabetes for 53 years and am used to it as part of life. I use an insulin pump and generally, my control is not bad. I also take medication for an underactive thyroid, cholesterol and marginally high blood pressure. ‘My kidney function is not great and I have some neuropathy in one foot, not major, though there are the beginnings of that, and I also have background retinopathy. I was on the islet-transplant waiting list but came off it because of my poor kidney function.
‘I’ve been in a relationship for 10 years. Though initially I could achieve orgasm, it gradually became less frequent and is now non-existent. Even with good lubrication, I suffer pain initially which then settles down to discomfort.
My loss of interest in sex has been more noticeable in the last seven years. I feel no real desire at all and accept lovemaking now as a gift to my partner because I care about him. ‘When I spoke to my consultant, he told me about Viagra but said it wasn’t for women. That was the end of the story. To be honest, because of my age, I’m not now very inclined to raise the subject with my GP or diabetes care team.
‘Following advice from the Sexual Dysfunction Association, I did use a sensitising cream for the clitoris and surrounding area, but it didn’t make any difference.
‘I suspect that aging and diabetes combined cause my FSD. I first made the link between diabetes and FSD because of the neuropathy in my foot, assuming the loss of sensation in the genital area also to be a kind of neuropathy.
‘I don’t think psychological factors are a contributing factor to my FSD. I’m not unduly inclined to worry, anxiety or stress, and tend to take things as they come.
‘For me, one of the major concerns about my FSD is that because I don’t get satisfaction from sex, it makes my partner feel that he’'s failing. And faking it is just not something I want to do. So, in some ways, sex is no longer satisfactory for either of us. It’s not a difficulty in our relationship, but it is a disappointment.
‘I really would like the medical profession to find the equivalent of Viagra for women – a pill to help you respond properly to sexual intimacy once more."