Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Diabetes Health Center

Font Size

Diabetes Has an Impact on Sex Life

Study Shows Diabetes Is Linked to Loss of Libido and Erectile Dysfunction
WebMD Health News
Reviewed by Laura J. Martin, MD

Aug. 27, 2010 -- Middle aged and older adults are interested in sexual activity, but diabetes impairs libido and can result in erectile dysfunction, a new study shows.

Researchers in Chicago say men diagnosed with diabetes are more likely to express a lack of interest in sex, but also to experience erectile dysfunction.

Scientists at the University of Chicago Medical Center conducted a study of nearly 2,000 people between the ages of 57 and 85.

The study found that about 70% of men and 62% of women with diabetes and sexual partners were found to engage in sexual activity two or three times a month -- comparable to people without diabetes.

The study also found that:

  • Men were more likely to express a lack of interest in sex if they had diabetes.
  • Men also were more likely to suffer erectile dysfunction if they had diabetes.
  • Women as well as men with diabetes reported a higher rate of orgasm difficulty, including climaxing too quickly for men, or not at all, which was reported by both men and women.
  • Only 19% of women compared to 47% of men, all with diabetes, had discussed sexual problems with a doctor, and men were more likely to talk about it than women.
  • Men in the study regardless of age or diabetes status were more likely than women to be married or living with a partner, and more men than women said they were sexually active.

The research was done as part of the National Social Life, Health and Aging Project, which involves in-home interviews, self-administered questionnaires, blood tests to assess diabetes status, and medication audits of 1,993 participants.

Patients and Doctors Should Discuss Sexual Activity

"Patients and doctors need to know that most middle age and older adults with partners are still sexually active despite their diabetes," says study researcher Stacy Lindau, MD, associate professor obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Chicago, in a news release. "However, many people with diabetes have sexual problems that are not being addressed."

She says almost half the women in the age group studied do not have sexual partners, and that women with diabetes are much less likely than women without diabetes to have a partner.

1 | 2 | 3

Today on WebMD

Diabetic tools
Symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, and more.
woman flexing muscles
10 strength training exercises.
Blood sugar test
12 practical tips.
Tom Hanks
Stars living with type 1 or type 2.
kenneth fujioka, md
Can Vinegar Treat Diabetes
Middle aged person
Home Healthcare

Prediabetes How to Prevent Type 2 Diabetes
type 2 diabetes
food fitness planner