Background Fibromyalgia (FM) is defined by the American College of Rheumatology as a syndrome of unknown etiology, characterized by chronic and widespread musculoskeletal pain. In 2010, a new diagnostic criteria was proposed and involves not only pain but symptoms such as depression, muscle fatigue, non-restorative sleep and urinary disorders. This may lead to a lack of interest or difficulty in the sexual act, which tends to be aggravated by depression, which is manifested by low self-esteem, decreased desire and orgasm, and pain during sexual intercourse.
Objectives Compare the sexual function of women with and without FM.
Methods Sexually active women aged between 19 and 65 years with and without medical diagnosis of FM in a single center, matched for age and menopausal status, were evaluated. The exclusion criteria were pregnancy and use of medications with urinary side effects (urinary loss or retention). In a single interview the participants signed the Informed Consent Form and answered questions about personal and gynecological data. The protocol The Sexual Quotient – Female Version (QS-F) was applied to assess sexual performance. We used for statistical analysis t test for independent variables and Mann-Whitney Test for the others.
Results In this study, 126 women were evaluated with age of 43.73±10.48 years. Most of the patients were married, representing 58.7%. A total of 50% participants had 1 or 2 children, 22.2% between 3 and 4 children and 27.8% had no children. Regarding the age of menarche and manopausal status, no differences were observed between groups (p=0.70 and p=0.08, respectively). The QS-F score revealed significantly lower scores for women with FM when compared to the healthy group (p<0.001). We observed the same results in the domains: Desire and Sexual Interest (p<0.001), Excitation Phase (p=0.019) and Satisfaction and Orgasm (p<0.001). Regarding the Pain and Comfort domain, no differences were observed between the groups (p=0.307). However, when they were questioned about dyspareunia in the physiotherapeutic evaluation, it was observed that 51.6% of FM patients reported pain in sexual act against only 26.6% of healthy women (p=0.005).
Conclusions Women with FM performed poorly on QS-F general score and in most domains, except for pain and comfort. When they were questioned in the physiotherapeutic evaluation about dyspareunia, we observed that women with FM had more pain in sexual intercourse, which may occurred due to the way the question was asked. As consequence, women with FM report worse sexual performance, especially with regard to desire, arousal phase and orgasm rate.
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Rebecca G. Rogers, M.D. Sexual function in women with pelvic floor desorders. Can Urol Assoc J.; v 7, n. 9–10, p. 199–201, 2013.
Acknowledgements This study received funds from CAPES (Coordination for the Improvement of Higher Education Personnel - Government Research Agency) with scholarship to one of the co-authors.
Disclosure of Interest None declared