Dyadic and Solitary Sexual Desire in Patients With Fibromyalgia: A Controlled Study
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Introduction: Although fibromyalgia symptoms negatively affect patients’ sexual life, sexual desire in women diagnosed with fibromyalgia has been understudied. Aim: To describe and compare sexual desire in women diagnosed with fibromyalgia and healthy control women, and to investigate the influence of fibromyalgia and its pharmacologic treatment on sexual desire among women diagnosed with fibromyalgia. Methods: 164 women diagnosed with fibromyalgia participated in the study. Participants’ sexual desire, fibromyalgia symptoms, symptom interference in daily life activities, and perceived quality of life were measured. Further sociodemographic and health-related data were also recorded. 87 healthy women were selected as a control group, and their sexual desire was compared with those of women diagnosed with fibromyalgia. Main Outcome Measures: Main outcome measures included the Sexual Desire Inventory and the Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire. Results: When compared with healthy control subjects, women diagnosed with fibromyalgia exhibited a significantly lower mean score on total desire (47.92 ± 17.48 vs 26.33 ± 21.95; P < .001), solitary desire (10.52 ± 5.96 vs 5.74 ± 7.01; P < .001), and dyadic desire (37.40 ± 13.98 vs 20.59 ± 16.94; P < .001). Women diagnosed with fibromyalgia who were taking antidepressants scored significantly lower on dyadic desire (P < .001), solitary desire (P < .001), and total desire (P < .001) than those who were not. Furthermore, a negative correlation between desire (dyadic and solitary) and Revised Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire (total and all subscales) was found. Linear regression showed that taking antidepressants, age, and the total Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire score explained 16% of the variance of total desire. Clinical Implications: Knowing how fibromyalgia symptoms and their pharmacologic treatment affect women's sexual desire may have implications for designing care strategies according to individual needs. Strengths & Limitations: To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study that focuses on studying the impact of fibromyalgia on dyadic and solitary sexual desire. Limitations are related to having used an online questionnaire for data collection, having recruited the participants through a convenience sampling technique and not being able to isolate whether certain results are related to fibromyalgia symptoms or are side effects of the pharmacologic treatment used for symptom control. Conclusion: Fibromyalgia impact seems to negatively influence dyadic and solitary sexual desire in women. In addition, other factors such as age or taking antidepressant drugs may result in lower sexual desire in these patients. López-Rodríguez MM, Pérez Fernández A, Hernández-Padilla JM, et al. Dyadic and Solitary Sexual Desire in Patients With Fibromyalgia: A Controlled Study. J Sex Med 2019;16:1518–1528. © 2019 International Society for Sexual Medicine
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