Background Fibromyalgia (FM) is a generalized chronic pain condition that is often accompanied by symptoms such as fatigue, sleep disturbances, psychological and cognitive alterations. Sexual dysfunction is more prevalent in the women with FM.
Objectives The aim of this study was to evaluate sexual satisfaction in female patients with FM and also assess the relationship between sexual dysfunction and clinical symptoms and sleep disturbance.
Methods Twenty-nine female patients with FM and 30 healthy controls were enrolled in the study. The impact of the disease was evaluated with fibromyalgia impact questionnaire (FIQ) and symptom severity scale (SSS). Depression was assessed with Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) and sleep quality with Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI). Sexual dysfunction was evaluated with Golombok Rost Inventory of Sexual Satisfaction (GRISS). The GRISS comprises 28 items that yield 8 discrete sexual function scores: a global score for overall sexual function and seven subscale scores for sexual frequency, communication, satisfaction, avoidance, sensuality, vaginal penetration problems, and orgasm. This allowed a breakdown of specific areas of sexual dysfunction. Scores on each of the GRISS subscales range from 1 to 9, that scores of 1 to 4 reflect normal sexual functioning and scores of 5 to 9 indicate increasing levels of sexual dysfunction.
Results All participants were aged between 26 and 53 years, with a mean age of 41.75±6.35 years. The mean disease duration was 7.27±4,95 years. 70% of the FM patients had sexual dysfunction. The women with FM demonstrated higher scores in 3 sexual function domains compared with control; sexual frequency (p<0.01), communication (p<0.05), and sensuality (p<0.05). GRISS vaginismus subcale was significantly correlated with poor sleep quality (p<0.05, r=0.45), FIQ score (p<0.05, r=0.44) and SS score (p<0.05, r=0.40). GRISS anorgasmia subcale had significant correlation with poor sleep quality (p<0.05), higher BECK depression (p<0.01), and total FIQ scores (p<0.05). GRISS vaginismus and anorgasmia subscales were found to be significantly higher in patients with poor sleep quality than patients with good sleep quality (p<0.05). Total GRISS score was also correlated with PSQI, SS, and FIQ scores (p<0.05, for each). Total FIQ score of the patients with sexual dysfunction was significantly higher than those with normal sexual functioning.
Conclusions Our results indicate that sexual dysfunction is common in women with FM and may be influenced by clinical factors such as sleep quality, mood state, symptom severity and daily functioning. Assessment of sexual problems should therefore be added to the routine care of the patients with FM.
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Disclosure of Interest None declared