Female sexual dysfunction and diabetes

July 29, 2010 by  
Filed under DEPRESSION, DIABETES, INFERTILITY

Diabetes comes with a lot of complications, including sexual dysfunction. There has been a lot of research on the relation between type 2 diabetes and erectile dysfunction (ED) in male patients with reported prevalence of up to 50%, but little is known about female sexual dysfunction (FSD). FSD is characterized by lack of libido and sexual satisfaction, even discomfort and pain during intercourse.

Italian researchers decided to address this knowledge gap and investigated the factors that are correlated to FSD in diabetic patients.  Their results indicated that FSD was not linked to hemoglobin A1C or time since diagnosis, hypertension or smoking. However, FSD was shown to be most prevalent in women who are married or depressed. Whereas physical activity positive influences FSD, age, metabolic syndrome and poor lipid profile seem have a negative impact. Much more, FSD is more prevalent in menopausal women compared to non-menopausal women. The authors concluded that:

“Further studies are needed to elucidate in full the mechanisms underlying the evident differences between male and female sexual function. In the meantime, evaluation of female sexuality should become a routine evaluation in women with type 2 diabetes, such as other diabetic complications.”

The results indicate sexual dysfunction occurs in both men and women especially among those with diabetes. However, the determining factors seem to differ between sexes. Whereas ED is closely linked to cardiovascular risk factors, FSD seems to be more linked to neurological and social factors. In fact, several studies have linked FSD to depression and marital status

There is something that diabetic women can do to help prevent FSD – improvement in diet and more physical activity. Experts believe it is not just diabetic diet that would help but sticking to the so-called Mediterranean diet, according to the same team of researchers.

Mediterranean diet has been shown to be beneficial for the heart and blood sugar levels. However, this is the first study to demonstrate the positive effect of such a diet in reducing FSD.

Like many chronic diseases, diabetes and its many complications, including sexual dysfunction benefits from lifestyle change that involves diet and physical exercise.

BPA linked to male sexual dysfunction and infertility

June 1, 2010 by  
Filed under INFERTILITY

BPA aka bisphenol A is in the headlines again but this time it has nothing to do with baby bottles and formulas. It is more about where babies come from – male fertility.

The research institute Kaiser Permanente reports that increased BPA levels in the urine of men can mean decreased sexual function that would desire, erectile dysfunction, and lower semen strength.

Why aren’t we surprised? Because BPA is quite known to be a human endocrine disrupter that creates havoc with hormones – a gender bender chemical, you might say.

The Kaiser Permanente researchers conducted a 5-year study of 427 factory workers in China. One group of workers employed as packagers, technical supervisors, laboratory technicians and maintenance workers in manufacturing facilities where BPA is used as an ingredient, the other group did not. The results showed significantly higher levels of BPA in BPA manufacturing facilities and these levels are correlated to sexual dysfunction.

According to study lead author Dr. De-Kun Li, a reproductive and perinatal epidemiologist at Kaiser Permanente’s Division of Research in Oakland, Calif.

“Because the BPA levels in this study were very high, more research needs to be done to see how low a level of BPA exposure may have effects on our reproductive system. This study raises the question: Is there a safe level for BPA exposure, and what is that level? More studies like this, which examine the effect of BPA on humans, are critically needed to help establish prevention strategies and regulatory policies.”

Although this has been previously observed in animal studies, this is supposedly the first study in humans to link BPA levels in the urine with sexual dysfunction

The levels measured were 50 times higher than what were measured in men in the general US population, indicating very high exposure. However, there is evidence that the endocrine disruption even occurs at low levels of long-term exposure.

Dr. Li continues to explain:

“This is the first human study to show that high urine BPA is associated with lower male sexual function. Also, even among men exposed to BPA from only environmental sources (no occupational exposure and with average BPA level lower than the average observed in the American population), there were indications of an increased risk of sexual dysfunction.”

Although BPA is slowly being phased out in the manufacturing of plastics for food packaging, it is still being used in the manufacture of non-food related plastics. Workers in these factories are exposed to high amounts of this chemical each day.

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NOTE: The contents in this blog are for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as medical advice, diagnosis, treatment or a substitute for professional care. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health professional before making changes to any existing treatment or program. Some of the information presented in this blog may already be out of date.