A ten-year study that tracked 652 women with type 1 diabetes found that 35 percent of them reported some sort of sexual problem, including loss of desire (57 percent of those reporting problems), problems experiencing orgasm (51 percent), pain during intercourse (21 percent), reduced arousal (38 percent), or decreased vaginal lubrication (47 percent).
Although the study, conducted by Leuven University in Belgium and published recently in the medical journal Diabetes Care, found that a significant percentage of diabetic women experience sexual problems, it did not conclude that diabetes itself was the cause.
This is in contrast to studies of type 1 men, in whom diabetes has been shown to be a major cause of sexual problems.
Instead, the researchers think that depression may be a major factor in bringing on or exacerbating the sexual problems of type 1 women. The researchers noted that although they cannot say that the depression of the women in the study was brought on by diabetes, the study established that depression affects a large percentage of women with the disease. They recommend that doctors and healthcare providers routinely screen type 1 women for depression and the presence of sexual problems.