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Sexual dysfunction among diabetics and its impact on the SQoL of their partners


Sexual dysfunction (SD) has long been known to affect a significant number of people worldwide with serious implications and limitations on sexual expression and fulfillment. This may affect the sexual quality of life (SQoL) of individuals and their partners. A cross-sectional study was conducted among diabetic patients and their partners who visited the Tema General Hospital. A total of 130 and 116 diabetic males and females and their partners were interviewed. Male and female diabetic participants and partners were evaluated using the Golombuk Rust Inventory for Sexual Satisfaction–Male (GRISS-M)/SQoL-M and GRISS-Female/SQoL-F, respectively. For the diabetic males, the mean age and duration of diabetes (DOD) was 63.04±10.85 and 8.38±6.53 years, respectively, and that of the diabetic females was 56.98±9.42 and 6.11±5.31 years, respectively. Diabetic male participants with SD were significantly older and had a longer duration of diabetes. The mean SQoL and SQoL-Partner (SQoL-P) recorded for the diabetic males and their partners was 42.29±30.88 and 52.86±15.26, respectively. The mean SQoL and SQoL-P recorded for the diabetic females and their partners was 57.73±14.91 and 64.97±19.68, respectively. Diabetic males who had impotence had female partners with significantly lower SQoL-P scores, and similar results were recorded for those who had premature ejaculation, nonsensuality, avoidance and dissatisfaction problems. Female diabetics who had nonsensuality, avoidance and infrequency had male partners who recorded significantly lower SQoL-P scores. Female diabetics with higher perceptions of what an adequate intravaginal ejaculatory latency time (IELT) should be had male partners with significantly lower SQoL-P scores. Ageing and DOD are more likely to affect the sexual functioning of diabetic males than females. SD in diabetics with problems of impotence/vaginismus, premature ejaculation/anorgasmia, nonsensuality and avoidance has an adverse effect on the SQoL-P of their partners. Male partners of diabetic females who have a higher perception of IELT had a reduced SQoL. Ageing and longer DOD in diabetics are associated with a reduced SQoL-P of their partners.

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The study was privately funded by the authors.

Author contributions

WKBAO, HA, NA, CO, CKG-S and ATB developed the concept and designed the study; WKBAO, NA, HA, ATB, PPMD and ATL administered the questionnaire analysed and interpreted the data; WKBAO, HA, NA, ATB, PPMD, CO and CKG-S drafted the manuscript; WKBAO, HA, NA, CO, CKG-S, ATB and ATL revised the manuscript for intellectual content. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

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Correspondence to H Alidu.

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Owiredu, W., Alidu, H., Amidu, N. et al. Sexual dysfunction among diabetics and its impact on the SQoL of their partners. Int J Impot Res 29, 250–257 (2017).

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