302.72 ). I mean, how can we treat something if we can't describe it enough to research it, much less develop treatment (protocols). |
Luckily, we now have validated questionnaires with which to assess female sexual function, for instance the Female Sexual Function Index , which was used in a study published in next month's Obstetrics & Gynecology, commonly referred to as the Green Book . The authors concluded that women w/diabetes are more likely to report lower overall sexual satisfaction. In fact, insulin use was associated w/difficulty w/lubrication & orgasm.
2,270 women 40-80yo (avg 55yo) participated in this study with only 2 out of 5 non-Latina white. In other words, there was a good bit of racial diversity in this group of women. 1 out of 5 women had diabetes, and of those, 1 out of 4 used insulin to control their diabetes. Those women w/end-organ damage due to their diabetes, eg heart disease, stroke, kidney disease & peripheral neuropathy, reported decreased sexual function in at least one domain, sexual desire/interest, sexual arousal/lubrication/orgasm/pain, and sexual satisfaction.
Bottom line: because this was an observational study and clearly not a randomized controlled trial, we can only develop hypotheses from the conclusions, rather than draw causal relationships. However, given that diabetes has a cause & effect relationship w/heart disease, stroke, kidney disease & peripheral neuropathy, it's not a big stretch of the imagination to add female sexual function to the list of reasons why women need better glycemic control. And while we wait for such a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, we can still advocate for better control on the basis of better health outcomes plus the possibility of an added bonus.