Background Changes associated with systemic sclerosis (SSc)can have a negative impact on sexuality and sexual functioning (1). In women, common problems reported include vaginal dryness and discomfort, painful intercourse, and reduced frequency and intensity of orgasms (3). Prevalence of erectile dysfunction in men with SSc appears to be substantial, however literature on sexual function in women with SSc is scarce (2) and prevalenceof sexual disorders in premenopausal women with this disease has not been studied.
Objectives To estimate the prevalence of female sexual disorders in premenopausal women with SSc, and to compare it with healthy controls.
Methods Descriptive observational study of the premenopausal women with SSc of our department of Rheumatology who agreed to participate. The questionnaires Female Sexual Function Index (FSFI) and Female Sexual Function Test were distributed among patients and healthy controls of similar demographics characteristics. Data were analyzed using SPSS v.15. Statistical tests applied were Mann-Whitney U test and Fischer test.
Results 7SSc premenopausal women agreed to participate in the study and were compared with seven healthy controls. The mean age was similar in both groups (p 0.38), being 40.4 years (SD 3.5) in the scleroderma group and 37.8 (SD 6.7) among women in the control group. 57% of women with SSc showed a moderate sexual dysfunction, while in the control group this percentage was 0, however no significant differences were found (p = 0.07). The Sexual Function Index was lower in patients with SSc, being of 16.78 [95% CI 5.47-28.1] in this group, and 33.87 [95% CI 32.54-35.19] in the control group (p = 0.001).
Conclusions Inour study, more than half of premenopausal women with SSc showed moderate sexual dysfunction, and Sexual Function Index was significantly higher in the group of healthy women. However, further studies with larger numbers of patients are needed to confirm these findings.
Ann Julie Impens and James R. Seibold, “Vascular Alterations and Sexual Function in Systemic Sclerosis,” International Journal of Rheumatology, vol. 2010, Article ID 139020, 5 pages, 2010. doi:10.1155/2010/139020
A. Schouffoer, J. van der Marel, M. M. Ter Kuile et al., “Impaired sexual function in women with systemic sclerosis: a cross-sectional study” Arthritis Care and Research, vol. 61, no. 11, pp. 1601–, 2009
Levis B, Burri A, Hudson M, Baron M, Thombs BD. “Rates and correlates of sexual activity and impairment among women with systemic sclerosis”, Arthritis Care & Research, Vol. 64, No. 3, March 2012, pp 340–350. DOI 10.1002/acr.20696
Acknowledgements We thankD.Osorio forthe statisticalanalysis.
Disclosure of Interest: None Declared