Diabetes mellitus is a chronic disease that can result in various medical, psychological and sexual dysfunctions (SD) if not properly managed. SD in men is a common under-appreciated complication of diabetes. This study assessed the prevalence and determinants of SD among diabetic patients in Tema, Greater Accra Region of Ghana.
Sexual functioning was determined in 300 consecutive diabetic men (age range: 18-82 years) visiting the diabetic clinic of Tema General Hospital with the Golombok Rust Inventory of Sexual Satisfaction (GRISS) questionnaire, between November, 2010 and March, 2011. In addition to the socio-demographic characteristics of the participants, the level of glycosylated haemoglobin, fasting blood sugar (FBS) and serum testosterone were assessed. All the men had a steady heterosexual relationship for at least 2 years before enrolment in the study.
Out the 300 participants contacted, the response rate was 91.3% after 20 declined participation and 6 incomplete data were excluded All the respondents had at least basic education, 97.4% were married, 65.3% were known hypertensive, 3.3% smoked cigarettes, 27% took alcoholic beverages and 32.8% did some form of exercise. The 69.3% SD rate observed in this study appears to be related to infrequency (79.2%), non-sensuality (74.5%), dissatisfaction with sexual acts (71.9%), non-communication (70.8%) and impotence (67.9%). Other areas of sexual function, including premature ejaculation (56.6%) and avoidance (42.7%) were also substantially affected. However, severe SD was seen in only 4.7% of the studied population. The perceived "adequate", "desirable", "too short" and "too long intra-vaginal ejaculatory latency time (IELT) are 5-10, 5-10, 1-2 and 15-30 minutes respectively. Testosterone correlates negatively with glycated haemoglobin (HBA1c), FBS, perceived desirable, too short IELT, and weight as well as waist circumference.
SD rate from this study is high but similar to that reported among self-reported diabetic patients in Kumasi, Ghana and vary according to the condition and age. The determinants of SD from this study are income level, exercise, obesity, higher perception of "desirable" and "too short" IELT.