Almost half of women in the U.S. who suffer from type 1 or 2 diabetes report that it has a negative impact on their sex lives, according to a new study recently released by MicroMass Communications, Inc., a leader in behavioral marketing in the healthcare industry. The research, which highlighted the need for improved education and support to help women build confidence in their ability to overcome the challenges of the disease, was conducted with a representative sample of more than 800 women with diabetes.

"Even women who have lived with diabetes for years seem to lack some basic information about the disease," said Andi Kravitz Weiss, MPH, a behaviorist at MicroMass, who pointed out that one of the more surprising findings in the study was the discovery that 58 percent of those questioned did not know that the menstrual cycle can trigger changes in blood sugar.

Along with diminished libido, 25 percent of the women who responded to the survey reported loss of spontaneity, and 22 percent said they were less likely to reach orgasm.

According to the MicroMass study, some of the biggest obstacles for women with diabetes are related to lifestyle. Nearly three out of four of those questioned had trouble managing their weight, and nearly half had trouble choosing the right foods. Half reported that controlling their blood sugar was a major challenge, and one out of three admitted that they found it hard to take care of themselves before looking after others.

"Our research shows that women with diabetes have far more confidence in their ability to take their medications than they have in their ability to make basic lifestyle changes. As a result, healthcare providers should be providing education and support programs that help build that confidence so that women can learn how to make the lifestyle changes necessary to successfully manage their diabetes," added Weiss.

Source: MicroMass Communications, Inc.

Originally posted by on December 15, 2010.