Rena R. Wing, PhD, from Brown University in Providence, RI, and colleagues randomly assigned 375 overweight and obese women with type 2 diabetes to intensive lifestyle intervention (ILI) or diabetes support and education as a control. Noting that female sexual dysfunction is a prevalent problem in this population of women, their sexual function was assessed via the Female Sexual Function Inventory.
The researchers found that half of the 229 women who reported being sexually active also had female sexual dysfunction at baseline. The ILI group had significantly greater weight loss after one year (7.6 vs. 0.45kg). Among women with sexual dysfunction, a significantly higher proportion of the ILI group remained sexually active (83% vs. 64%), had significantly greater improvement on total scores and most domains of the Female Sexual Function Inventory, and were significantly more likely to experience remission of sexual dysfunction (28% vs. 11%).
“Participation in ILI appeared to have beneficial effects on sexual functioning among obese women with diabetes, particularly in those who had female sexual dysfunction at baseline,” Wing and colleagues conclude.
One author is a paid consultant for Palatin and Sprout Pharmaceuticals.