Background Sexual dysfunction is an important issue in women with fibromyalgia (FM). The negative impact of fibromyalgia symptoms on sexual function has been reported in several studies (1,2); however, the influences of treatment strategies on sexual disfunction have not been evaluated widely.
Objectives The aim of this study was to determine the effects of short term physiotherapy on sexual dysfunction in female patients with fibromyalgia.
Methods Twenty-five female FM patients diagnosed with sexual dysfunction were enrolled the study. Twenty female FM subjects with sexual dysfunction were recruited as control group. Participants assigned to the intervention group received daily physiotherapy including heat therapy, postural exercises and ergonomic education for three weeks. Control group received no treatment. Subjects were asked to complete a questionnaire regarding severity of FM symptoms, sexual functioning, and depression. Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire (FIQ) (3) was used to measure severity of symptoms, status and progress. Golombok-Rust Inventory of Sexual Satisfaction (GRISS) (4) was used for the assessment of sexual dysfunction. Beck Depression Inventory (5) was used to measure the characteristic attitudes and symptoms of depression.
Results According to the GRISS, there was significant improvement in dissatisfaction, avoidance and vaginismus after three weeks of treatment when compared to baseline scores in intervention group (p<.05); however, there was no improvement in infrequency, non-communication, anorgasmia and female non-sensuality subscales. There was significant improvement in physical functioning, work status, anxiety, morning tiredness, pain, stiffness, fatigue, well-being measured by the FIQ and in depression level measured by the Beck Depression Inventory in intervention group (p<.05). There was no improvement in sexual function, FM symptoms and depression in control group (p>.05).
Conclusions Physiotherapy may be a beneficial for women with FM in order to improve not only FM symptoms but also some parameters of sexual function. Management of FM symptoms may contribute to improve sexual function in patients with FM.
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Disclosure of Interest None declared