Background Fibromyalgia (FM) is a common condition in young and middle-aged women, which is mainly characterized by diffuse chronic pain and is associated with other manifestations such as fatigue, unrefreshing sleep, stiffness, anxiety and depresión1. Recent studies have evaluated that chronic pain syndrome and related manifestations could have a negative impact on sexual function of these patients, as well as psycho-physical abuse history could act as potential triggers of FM.
Objectives Assess sexual function in women with FM and correlate with tender points count, clinical severity, anxiety, depression, chronic fatigue and history of physical and psychological violence.
Methods A case-control study. Between 03/01/12 and 06/30/12 were included consecutively: women >18 years diagnosed with FM according to ACR criteria '90, and healthy controls >18 years, without history of violence. We excluded patients with other causes of chronic pain disorders and psychotic disorders. We recorded: sociodemographic data, education, employment and menopausal status and sexual function by Female Sexual Function Index2 (FSFI: self-administered questionnaire that assesses six domains: desire, arousal, lubrication, orgasm, satisfaction and pain). In the FM group tender points count, duration of disease, medication, psychological care, presence of chronic fatigue (by Fukuda Criteria), clinical severity (FIQ-Spanish version), depression (HADS), and history of physical or psychological violence (Screening Questionnaire of Violence) 3 were assessed. We used Chi2 test, Student t test and Mann-Whitney test, and Spearman correlation coefficient (significant p ≤ 0.05).
Results We included 52 patients in the FM group and 52 in the control group. Median age: 50 ± 9.2 and 47 ± 10 years, respectively. FM Group: Medium evolution time: 60 months, mean pain points: 15 ± 3, FIQ median: 67.8 (28-86). 73.1% received medication for FM and 44.2% demanded psychological care. We found significant impaired sexual function vs controls (median FSFI total: 17.2 (1.2-33.3) vs. 29.4 (1.2-36), p <0.001) and the difference persists analyzing each domain of the FSFI. Patients with FM showed he most common link with the aggressor was, the current partner in cases of psychological violence (28.1%) and former partners for physical violence (31.25%). Having violence history showed a trend to lower values of FSFI (no statistical significance). No correlation was found between values of FSFI and the other analyzed variables.
Conclusions Our patients with FM had impaired sexual function compared to control group. Physical and psychological violence were frequent but weren´t related with sexuality function.
Kalichman L. Association Between Sexual Dysfunction and FM. Clinical Rheum 2009, 28: 365-69.
Blumel JE, Binfa LE, Cataldo PA, Carrasco AV. Female Sexual Function Index: a test to assess women’s sexuality. Rev Chil. Obstetrics Gynecol 2004; 69 (2): 118-125.
Tavara-Orozco L, Zegarra-Samame Turra, Ceiso Zelaya. Screening Gender Violence: three services reproductive health care. Ginecol. Obstet (Peru) 2003, 49 (1): 31-38.
Disclosure of Interest None Declared