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Determinants of Sexual Function among Women with Type 2 Diabetes in a Nigerian Population


John Olarinoye, MD, University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital—Medicine, PMB 1515, Ilorin, Kwara 240003, Nigeria. Tel: +2348033975844; Fax: 031-220020; E-mail:


Introduction.  Sexual health is an important but often neglected component of diabetes care. Unlike erectile dysfunction, female sexual dysfunction has not been well studied among Nigerian diabetics.

Aims.  To assess the sexual function of women with diabetes, and to determine its clinical correlates.

Methods.  The sexual performances of 51 women with type 2 diabetes mellitus attending the Diabetes Clinic, University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital were assessed using the Female Sexual Function Index (FSFI) questionnaire. The Female Sexual Function (FSF) scores in each domain of sexual function were then compared with those of 39 nondiabetic controls. The associations between the FSF scores and certain clinical variables, as well as some diabetic complications, were also determined.

Main Outcome Measures.  Sexual performance of the women as measured by the FSF scores using the FSFI questionnaires.

Results.  The FSF score in the diabetic women was 20.5 (±8.3) compared with a score of 31.2 (±8.8) in the control (P value = 0.00). The FSF scores in the arousal, pain, orgasm, and overall satisfaction domains were all lower in the diabetic women (P value < 0.05). There was no significant difference in the scores for “desire” domain in the two groups (P value > 0.05). Women with diabetes attempted sex less frequently (P < 0.05). There was a negative correlation between the ages of the women and all the domains of sexual function (P value < 0.05). Duration of diabetes correlated negatively with comfort (P value = 0.04), lubrication (P = 0.03), frequency (P value = 0.05), as well as orgasm (P value = 0.04) domains. There was no significant relationship between the FSF score and body mass index, blood pressure, and glycemic control. There was no significant difference between the FSF scores of diabetic women with complications and those without (P value > 0.05).

Conclusions.  Diabetes significantly impairs the sexual performance of the Nigerian women afflicted with the disease. Determinants of FSF include age, duration of diabetes illness, and presence of menopause. Olarinoye J, and Olarinoye A. Determinants of sexual function among women with type 2 diabetes in a Nigerian population. J Sex Med 2008;5:878–886.