Frequency of Sexual Dysfunction in Women with Rheumatic Diseases

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Abstract:

OBJECTIVE: To assess the prevalence of sexual dysfunction in women followed up at the Rheumatology Outpatient Clinic of the Hospital Universitário de Brasília and of the Hospital das Clínicas da Universidade de São Paulo with the following rheumatic diseases: systemic lupus erythematosus; rheumatoid arthritis; systemic sclerosis; antiphospholipid antibody syndrome; and fibromyalgia.

METHODS: The Female Sexual Function Index (FSfi), obtained by applying a 19-item questionnaire that assesses six domains (sexual desire, arousal, vaginal lubrication, orgasm, sexual satisfaction and pain), was used.

RESULTS: This study assessed 163 patients. The mean age was 40.4 years. The prevalence of sexual dysfunction was 18.4%, but 24.2% of the patients reported no sexual activity over the past 4 weeks. Patients with fibromyalgia and systemic sclerosis had the highest sexual dysfunction index (33%). Excluding patients with no sexual activity, the sexual dysfunction rate reaches 24.2%.

CONCLUSION: The prevalence of sexual dysfunction found in this study was lower than that reported in the literature. However, 24.2% of the patients interviewed reported no sexual activity over the past 4 weeks, which might have contributed to the low sexual dysfunction index found.

Source: Revista Brasileira de Reumatologia, February 2013. By Clarissa de Castro Ferreira; Licia Maria Henrique da Mota; Ana Cristina Vanderley Oliveira; Jozélio Freire de Carvalho; Rodrigo Aires Corrêa Lima; Cezar Kozak Simaan; Francieli de Sousa Rabelo; José Abrantes Sarmento; Rafaela Braga de Oliveira; and Leopoldo Luiz dos Santos Neto. Serviço de Clínica Médica, Hospital das Forças Armadas.

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