Sexual dysfunction in women with type 1 diabetes in Norway: A qualitative study of women’s experiences
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionDiabetic Medicine. 2022. 10.1111/dme.14856
Aim The aim of this study was to explore the experiences of sexual health and sexual challenges in women with type 1 diabetes (T1D). Methods We used a qualitative study design and conducted semistructured interviews with 15 women (26–57 years) with T1D. The participants were recruited based on their Female Sexual Function Index score that indicated sexual dysfunction. We used thematic analysis to analyse the data. Results We generated three themes, each with subthemes: (1) Diabetes is present at all times (subthemes: having diabetes is onerous, and diabetes affects the relationship with my partner); (2) various challenges related to sexual health (subthemes: experiencing reduced sexual desire and physical challenges, and challenges related to sexual health affect the relationship with my partner); and (3) diabetes may affect sexual function (subthemes: glucose levels and technical devices may have an impact on sexual function, and sexual health should be addressed in diabetes follow-up). Conclusions The women with T1D experienced different challenges related to their sexual health. The most common were reduced sexual desire, vaginal dryness and pain during intercourse. The study emphasizes the importance of addressing sexual health in diabetes follow-up to provide comprehensive health services to people with diabetes.