Background Systemic Sclerosis (SSc) is a chronic autoimmune disease characterized by abnormal fibrotic processes, inflammation and microvascular damage. Changes associated with SSc such as skin tightening, muscle weakness, joint pain, deformity and decreased physical function can have a negative impact on female sexuality and sexual functioning
Objectives We aimed to investigate the effect of systemic sclerosis on quality of life and sexual function in female patients.
Methods Sexually active 30 female patients with SSc and 30 healthy control were included in the study. Female sexual index and SF-36 form filled out and detailed madical and sexual history was taken from both the control subjects and patients.
Results The mean age of patients with SSc were 45,03±9,22 and the mean age of control group was 44,6±11,52. The age difference between study groups was not statistically significant. In patient group; 16 patients (%53,3) had dcSSc and 14 patients (%46,7) had lcSSc. 15 patients (%50) had pulmoner involvement. Thirthy patients (%100) were with ANA positive, 14 (%46,7) were with anti-Scl-70 antibody positive, 10 (%33,3) were with anti-centromer antibody positive. SF-36 scores in patient group was significantly lower than the control group (physical functioning (p=0,001), role-physical (p=0,0001), role-emotional (p=0,004), bodily pain (p=0,001), vitality (p=0,001), social functioning (p=0,03), mental health (p=0,0001), general health (p=0,0001)). Female sexual dysfunction was diagnosed in 26 of 30 (%86,6) SSc patient and 6 of 30 (%20) healthy control group. The difference was statically significant (p=0,0001). There was statistically significant difference betsen sexual desire (p=0.002), arousal (p=0.0001), lubrication (p=0.0001), orgasm (p=0.0001), satisfaction (p=0.0001) and pain (p=0,0001) domain scores. There was no statically significant relationship between disease subgroups, disease duration, pulmoner involvement and FSFI scores in patient group.
Conclusions Sexual disfunction and lower health quality is a usual problem in female patients with systemic sclerosis
Schouffoer, A., et al., Impaired sexual function in women with systemic sclerosis: A cross-sectional study. Arthritis Care & Research, 2009. 61(11): p. 1601-1608.
Disclosure of Interest None declared