How Metformin Affects Women Sexually: Side Effects & Benefits

Metformin is one of the oldest and most widely used drugs for the treatment of type-2 diabetes. 

Like any other drug, it comes with both positive effects and negative side effects. 

An area that receives very little attention is the effect of metformin on sexuality, particularly in women.

In this article, we uncover how metformin affects a woman sexually, including negative side effects and impact on libido, vaginal health, and hormones.  

How metformin affects a woman’s sexual health

The sexual side effects of metformin, especially in women, are currently not well known or studied. However, metformin treatment is thought to generally have a favorable effect on female sexual function. 

Some of these include:

1) Improved symptoms of neuropathy and angiopathy

Uncontrolled diabetes can lead to damage in different parts of the body, including the nerves and blood vessels. 

Nerve damage as a result of diabetes is known as diabetic neuropathy, while vessel damage is known as diabetic angiopathy. 

These complications can affect any part of your body, including your sex organs. 

As a result of these, you may experience decreased sexual sensations, decreased lubrication, and other forms of sexual dysfunction. 

In one study, researchers found that up to 68.6% of women with type 2 diabetes experienced sexual dysfunction.

Neuropathy is not reversible, but symptoms can improve with proper blood sugar control using drugs like metformin.

2) Treatment of PCOS

Another way in which metformin may improve sexual function is by helping treat symptoms in diabetic women who also suffer from polycystic ovarian syndrome. 

One study showed that women with PCOS were significantly more satisfied with their sex life and had sex more often after treatment with metformin. 

PCOS can cause women to experience menstrual irregularities, insulin resistance, hyperandrogenism, and changes in physical appearance, such as weight gain and excessive hair growth in some areas. 

Studies on the use of metformin in the treatment of PCOS showed that the drug might help:

  • Decrease excess testosterone.
  • Improve insulin sensitivity.
  • Stop excessive weight gain.
  • Induce ovulation and help treat infertility.
  • Improve irregular menstrual patterns.

It is important to note that metformin is not a first-line treatment for PCOS. There is conflicting information on its use, and more research is required on this subject.

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3) Libido and sexual dysfunction

Women with prediabetes and diabetes may experience some sexual problems, such as:

  • A decrease in libido
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Difficulty achieving orgasm
  • Painful sex (dyspareunia)

A small study showed that metformin can help improve sexual dysfunction in women with diabetes and prediabetes. 

Treatment with metformin can bring a woman’s sexual desire and sexual satisfaction back to normal levels.

4) Vaginal health and painful sex

When diabetes is not being treated, the level of sugar in your blood becomes high. This increases your risk of developing various types of infections, including infections like vaginal yeast infections.

High blood sugar can also damage the blood vessels around your vagina, resulting in decreased lubrication of the area, vaginal dryness, and painful sex. 

Proper management of diabetes with a drug like metformin reduces your risk of developing such complications.

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Are there any negative side effects of metformin sexually?

Based on current research, the sexual side effects of metformin in women are desirable. It is believed that metformin helps to normalize sexual function in women with diabetes. 

It can also improve metabolic health and help regulate hormone imbalance in women with PCOS.

In men, metformin may cause erectile dysfunction. It decreases the levels of testosterone in the body, which affects the sex drive. 

This does not affect all men who take metformin. In fact, some men experience improved sexual function once their blood sugar is controlled.  


  • Metformin is a popular drug used in the treatment of type 2 diabetes. Current research on how does metformin affect a woman sexually shows that metformin’s side effects in women are desirable. 
  • Taking metformin may help improve symptoms of sexual dysfunction like decreased libido and vaginal dryness. It may also help reduce the risk of vaginal infections by decreasing blood sugar levels. 
  • In women with PCOS, metformin treatment may help regularize their menstrual cycle and promote ovulation.
  • If you are on metformin and you are experiencing problems in the bedroom, consult with your healthcare provider. 

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  1. Rahmanian E, Salari N, Mohammadi M, Jalali R. Evaluation of sexual dysfunction and female sexual dysfunction indicators in women with type 2 diabetes: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Diabetol Metab Syndr. 2019 Aug 27;11:73. doi: 10.1186/s13098-019-0469-z. PMID: 31467595; PMCID: PMC6712652.
  2. Long C, Feng H, Duan W, Chen X, Zhao Y, Lan Y, Yue R. Prevalence of polycystic ovary syndrome in patients with type 2 diabetes: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Front Endocrinol (Lausanne). 2022 Aug 31;13:980405. doi: 10.3389/fendo.2022.980405. PMID: 36120432; PMCID: PMC9471325.
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  4. Hahn S, Benson S, Elsenbruch S, Pleger K, Tan S, Mann K, Schedlowski M, van Halteren WB, Kimmig R, Janssen OE. Metformin treatment of polycystic ovary syndrome improves health-related quality-of-life, emotional distress and sexuality. Hum Reprod. 2006 Jul;21(7):1925-34. doi: 10.1093/humrep/del069. Epub 2006 Mar 20. PMID: 16549423.
  5. Krysiak R, Drosdzol-Cop A, Skrzypulec-Plinta V, Okopień B. Sexual Functioning and Depressive Symptoms in Women with Diabetes and Prediabetes Receiving Metformin Therapy: A Pilot Study. Exp Clin Endocrinol Diabetes. 2017 Jan;125(1):42-48. doi: 10.1055/s-0042-116594. Epub 2016 Oct 6. PMID: 27711958.

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