The objective of the study was to review the association between fibromyalgia (FM) and sexual dysfunction in women and possible mechanisms of such association. PubMed, MEDLINE, and EMBASE databases (1950–2008) were searched for the key words “fibromyalgia”, “chronic pain”, “sexual dysfunction”, “female”, “sexuality”, “depression”, and “quality of life”. All relevant articles in English and secondary references were reviewed.
• All reviewed studies showed that FM is associated with sexual dysfunction in women. The major findings were as follows:
- Decreased sexual desire and arousal,
- Decreased experience of orgasm,
- And increased pain with intercourse.
• FM, sexual dysfunction, and depression may be interrelated, with the depressive mood responsible for desire and arousal problems.
• On the other hand, in FM patients, the threshold at which sensory input becomes painful is lower than normal that can explain pain on intercourse.
Additional studies are needed to evaluate the casual relationship and mechanism of association between FM and sexual dysfunction in women.
Source: Clinical Rheumatology, Jan 23, 2009. Kalichman L. Department of Physical Therapy, Recanati School for Community Health Professions, Faculty of Health Sciences, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Beer Sheva, Israel. [E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org]