Problems of sexual function in male diabetics are well-known, but studies have not been previously published documenting the incidence of such distress in diabetic females. One hundred and twenty-five diabetic women and 100 nondiabetic women between the ages of eighteen and forty-two were interviewed to determine the incidence of sexual dysfunction in these two groups. Forty-four of the 125 diabetic women (35.2 per cent) and six of the 100 nondiabetic women (6 per cent) reported complete nonorgasmic function in the preceding year, a difference significant at the P < .01 level. The appearance of sexual dysfunction in diabetic women correlated strongly with duration of diabetes, but there was little association with age, insulin dose, or such complications of diabetes as neuropathy, retinopathy, nephropathy or vaginitis. The term “secondary orgasmic dysfunction” is proposed for cases where impaired sexual response is felt to be on an organic basis, but appears only after a phase of normal sexual functioning.

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