ESPE Abstracts (2016) 86 RFC5.3

Sexual Lifestyle among Young Adults with Type 1 Diabetes

Orit Pinhas-Hamiela,b, Efrat Tischa, Noa Leveka, Rachel Frumkin Ben-Davida, Chana Graf-Barela, Mariana Yarona, Valentina Boykoc & Liat Lerner-Gevab,c


aMaccabi Juvenile Diabetes Center, Raanana, Israel; bSackler School of Medicine, Tel-Aviv University, Tel-Aviv, Israel; cGertner Institute, Women and Children’s Health Research Unit, Ramat-Gan, Israel


Background: Sexual lifestyles including sexual activity, problems, satisfaction, and the formation of relationships, are greatly affected by physical health disorders. Fear from hypoglycemic episodes during sexual intercourse and intimacy issues can impact young adults with type 1 diabetes (T1DM).

Objective and hypotheses: To assess sexual lifestyles of people with T1DM.

Method: A total of 53 T1DM patients (51% males), mean±SD age 27.9±8.3 years completed the Hypoglycemia Fear Survey II (HFS II) and the Sex Practices and Concerns questionnaire.

Results: Thirty-seven (70%) reported they never or almost never had concerns in their sexual lifestyles that were related to their diabetes. None experienced severe hypoglycemia during sex, but 21(40%) reported occasional mild hypoglycemic events. More than two-thirds do not take any measures to prevent hypoglycemia before sex (decreasing insulin dose, snacks, and measuring blood glucose levels). Fear of hypoglycemia during sex was reported by 18(35%); those who reported increased fear reported experiencing mild hypoglycemic events during sex (61.1% vs 26.5% P=0.01), were singles (94.4% vs 64.7% P=0.02) and had higher scores on the Worries subscale of the HFS II than did those who did not (42.8± and 12.8 vs 34.9±10.5 P=0.04).

Conclusion: Most young people with T1DM do not have concerns regarding sex that are related to their diabetes, and most do not take specific measures before or after sex. One-third, however, fear from hypoglycemia during sex, mostly singles and those who experienced hypoglycemia in the past.

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