Female Sexual Dysfunction in Women With Type 1 Diabetes

Female Sexual Dysfunction in Women With Type 1 Diabetes

Female sexual dysfunction (FSD) is a significant concern for many women around the world, encompassing issues like reduced sexual desire, arousal problems, inadequate lubrication, and pain during sex. It impacts women’s quality of life, mental health, and relationships with their significant others.

Type 1 diabetes, a metabolic disorder, results from insulin deficiency. Though not as prevalent as type 2 diabetes, it is still important to consider the effect type 1 diabetes can have on a person’s overall health.

Several studies have examined the possible association between diabetes and male sexual issues. However, its impact on female sexual function, especially in relation to type 1 diabetes, remains less clear. Therefore, the authors of a new study aimed to understand the global prevalence of FSD, analyze its association with type 1 diabetes, and identify related risk factors.

To accomplish this, the researchers conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of all studies revolving around FSD and type 1 diabetes from inception to February 28, 2023. After removing duplicate studies and those with irrelevant content, a total of 19 studies involving 2,151 women with type 1 diabetes were included in the final analysis.

By pooling the results of these studies, the authors found that 38.5% of the women with type 1 diabetes experienced FSD, which is higher than the rates of FSD in women who do not have diabetes. FSD was measured by the Female Sexual Function Index (FSFI) in most of these studies. The prevalence of FSD in the participants ranged from 18.3% to 75.8% across the different studies.

Diving deeper into the data, the researchers found that FSD was more common in women with type 1 diabetes after 2015 (41.3%) compared to before (33.3%). In terms of regions, women in European-Asian countries (like Turkey) had the highest FSD prevalence (74.8%), while women in western Europe had the lowest (32.4%). Additionally, FSD was less common in premenopausal women (34.7%) compared to women in the pre-, peri-, and postmenopausal mixed group (42.1%).

Interestingly, the results of this study showed that the two most significant predictors of FSD in women with type 1 diabetes were depression status and longer diabetes duration. Women with depression were almost three times more likely to have FSD (2.77 times), and a longer duration of diabetes increased the likelihood of FSD by 1.19 times. Nevertheless, it is important to note that while these factors were associated with FSD, it does not mean that they cause FSD or are caused by it.

The results of this study suggest a significant association between type 1 diabetes and FSD among women, which indicates that women with type 1 diabetes might benefit from being screened for sexual dysfunction. For women with type 1 diabetes who are struggling with aspects of their sexual functioning, qualified health care providers with experience in the field of sexual health can help.


  • Zhang, X., Zhu, Z., Tang, G., & Xu, H. (2023). Prevalence and predictors of sexual dysfunction in females with type 1 diabetes: a systematic review and meta-analysis. The Journal of Sexual Medicine, 20(9), 1161-1171. https://doi.org/10.1093/jsxmed/qdad104

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