Sexual dysfunction is correlated with tenderness in female fibromyalgia patients Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • The purpose of the current study was to evaluate sexual dysfunction among female fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) patients. Fifty female subjects were recruited and were asked to complete a questionnaire regarding sexual functioning. The control group included fifty-five healthy age-matched volunteers. The participants underwent a physical examination and tender point assessment was performed using manual palpation. All participants filled out the Arizona Sexual Experience Scale, which evaluates five areas of sexual functioning: sexual drive, sexual arousal, vaginal wetting, orgasm and sexual satisfaction. FMS patients had significantly lower scores on all five aspects of sexual function assessed. A positive correlation was observed between the sexual drive score, signifying a decrease in sexual drive, and the number of tender points documented on examination. Similarly, a positive correlation was observed between the sexual satisfaction scale (indicating decreasing levels of sexual satisfaction) and the number of tender points documented. A positive correlation was demonstrated between the sexual arousal and orgasmatic scales and between the tender point counts, indicating a decrease in sexual arousal and in orgasmatic function in correlation with an increasing number of tender points. The results of the current study indicate a multi-factorial sexual dysfunction among female FMS patients. All stages of sexual functioning, evaluated were significantly disturbed in comparison with the healthy controls. Physicians treating FMS patients should be aware of, and actively inquire about, sexual dysfunction as part of a multi-disciplinary evaluation of such patients.

publication date

  • November 1, 2011