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Female Sexual Function and Gestational Diabetes


  • This study was funded by a grant from:

  • CAPES—Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior and FAPESP—Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo. Process n. 9/54509-6.

Meireluci Costa Ribeiro, LCSW, MSc, Department of Obstetrics, São Paulo Federal University, Rua Napoleão de Barros, 875, São Paulo, 04024-002, Brazil. Tel/Fax: 55 (11) 5571-0761; E-mail:


Introduction.  The number of women with gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) is growing worldwide in parallel with the obesity epidemic. The diagnosis of GDM leads to substantial modifications in the daily routine of these women, and these adjustments could potentially affect their sexual function. There are no previous studies on the sexual function of patients with GDM.

Aim.  The aim of this study was to investigate the sexual function of patients with GDM in comparison with healthy pregnant women at the same gestational age.

Methods.  Brazilian women in the third trimester of pregnancy with and without GDM were invited to participate in this cross-sectional study while waiting for their antenatal care visits at a single public tertiary teaching institution between March and December 2010. The Brazilian version of the Female Sexual Function Index (FSFI) questionnaire was used to assess sexual function.

Main Outcome Measures.  Desire, arousal, lubrication, orgasm, sexual satisfaction, and pain during and after coitus in the last 4 weeks, measured according to a standardized and validated questionnaire.

Results.  A total of 87 participants were enrolled (43 healthy women and 44 with GDM). There were no significant differences in the sociodemographic characteristics of both groups. The total FSFI scores of GDM patients was 21.0 ± 9.59 compared with 22.3 ± 9.17 for healthy women (P = 0.523). Difficulty in desire was the most common sexual dysfunction symptom in both groups, being reported by 42% and 50% of GDM and healthy women, respectively (P = 0.585).

Conclusion.  The sexual function of Brazilian patients with GDM does not differ significantly from that of healthy pregnant women at the same gestational age. Ribeiro MC, Nakamura MU, Scanavino Mde T, Torloni MR, and Mattar R. Female sexual function and gestational diabetes. J Sex Med 2012;9:786–792.