Journal of Behavioral Medicine

, Volume 9, Issue 3, pp 261–270 | Cite as

Sexual dysfunction in diabetic women

  • Amy S. Newman
  • Amy D. Bertelson


This study examined sexual dysfunction in diabetic women. Eighty-one insulin-treated diabetic women were interviewed and administered standardized questionnaires. Using criteria derived from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders(3rd ed.) (DSM-III; American Psychiatric Association, Washington, D.C., 1980), 38 (47%) of the women were diagnosed with sexual dysfunction and 43 (53%) did not report sexual problems. The more frequently reported sexual problems were inhibited sexual excitement, inhibited sexual desire, and dyspareunia. Diabetic women with sexual dysfunction were more depressed, more stereotyped in their sex-role definitions, and less satisfied in their sexual relationships than those without sexual dysfunction. The two groups did not differ in metabolic control, insulin dose, duration of diabetes, or frequency of diabetic complications (e.g., neuropathy, etc.). Results suggest that diabetes may be associated with inhibited sexual excitement and dyspareunia in women. Both psychological and physiological concomitants of sexual dysfunction in diabetic women should be considered in diagnostic and treatment programs.

Key words

sexual dysfunction diabetes women 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • Amy S. Newman
    • 1
  • Amy D. Bertelson
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyWashington UniversitySt. Louis

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