A sexual dysfunction expert is urging clinicians to be more aware that type 2 diabetes can impact a woman’s libido.
Dr David Edwards, chair of the Primary Care Testosterone Advisory Group and vice chair of trustees of the College of Sexual and Relationship Therapists, has written an article about the issue.
Writing in the July/August issue of the Nursing in Practice publication, Dr Edwards said: “In the past, much research has focused on male sexual problems – in particular, erectile dysfunction (ED). This is because the signs and symptoms of male sexual dysfunction are more obvious and measurable than female problems, ED being a classical example.
“This gender imbalance is gradually being addressed as more studies are being published on female sexual dysfunction. This lack of knowledge is not because of some perceived gender prejudice but more because the issues are generally more complex.”
Symptoms of female sexual dysfunction can include mood swings, cystitis, vaginitis, depression, vaginal dryness, and lack of lubrication and libido. But those signs may not necessarily be linked to a woman’s type 2 diabetes.
Dr Edwards said that “psychosocial factors” often play a part in reducing sexual desire, particularly when someone has discovered they have a chronic illness.
There has been some research into women’s sexual problems, with Dr Edwards highlighting one study showing that depression played a significant role in sexual desire. However, managing depression can improve psychological health which in turn could prevent sexual problems.
The article also stated a wide range of treatment options for women with type 2 diabetes who may be experiencing sexual difficulties.