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CASE REPORT: Possible Correlation Between Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus and Female Sexual Dysfunction: Case Report and Literature Review


Emmanuele A. Jannini, MD, Course of Sexual Medicine, Department of Experimental Medicine, University of L’Aquila, 67100 L’Aquila, Italy. Tel: (39) 0862 433530; Fax: (39) 0862 433523; E-mail:


Introduction.  Sexual dysfunction in diabetic women has received less attention in clinical research than the sexual symptoms of diabetic men. Although conflicting results have been reported, several studies suggest an increased prevalence of deficient vaginal lubrication in women with diabetes mellitus. As support to the hypothesis of a potential diabetes-related arousal dysfunction caused by a decrease in vaginal lubrication of women with Type 1 diabetes mellitus, we describe the following case report.

Methods.  A 29-year-old white woman was found with a sexual arousal disorder of sudden onset, complicated by loss of orgasm and sexual desire, in absence of any marital, relational, psychological, or gynecological cause.

Results.  One month later she was diagnosed with severe Type 1 diabetes. With the correction of diabetes and without other treatment of the sexual dysfunction, she experienced a full recovery of her sexual complaints.

Conclusions.  The case illustrates the importance of being aware of female sexual dysfunction as an early symptom of diabetes mellitus and suggests that a good glycemic control would be fundamental to restore a normal sexual activity in diabetic women. It also demonstrates the need to take into account, not only in males, a sexual history in the management of diabetes mellitus.