Sexuality of men with fibromyalgia: what are the factors that cause sexual dysfunction?
INTRODUCTION Sexual dysfunction has been associated with several chronic pain conditions, including fibromyalgia. However, the literature on sexual functioning in patients with fibromyalgia is limited and restricted to female patients. AIM The aim of our study was to evaluate sexual functioning in female and male patients with fibromyalgia compared with healthy controls. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE Sexual functioning was evaluated using the Spanish validated version of the Changes in Sexual Functioning Questionnaire (CSFQ). METHODS We used baseline data from several studies performed in adult patients with fibromyalgia (American College of Rheumatology criteria) of both sexes in which sexual functioning was included in the clinical evaluation. As a control group, we selected an age-matched group of healthy subjects. We calculated the proportion of patients exhibiting sexual dysfunction (i.e., a CSFQ total score equal to or lower than 41 in females and 47 in males). CSFQ scores for patients and controls were compared, and the effect sizes for the difference of means were calculated. RESULTS Our sample comprised 293 patients with fibromyalgia (276 females and 17 males) and 86 healthy controls (72 females and 14 males). The frequency of sexual dysfunction was significantly higher in patients with fibromyalgia than in controls for both females (86.9% vs. 23.6%; relative risk [RR] 3.7, 95% confidence interval [CI], 2.4-5.6) and males (76.5% vs. 6.7%; RR 11.5, 95% CI, 1.7-77.6). We found significantly worse sexual functioning for all dimensions in both female and male patients with fibromyalgia. Effect sizes for the difference in mean scores of the CSFQ were large overall and for all dimensions in both females and males. CONCLUSION Our results show that sexual dysfunction is common in patients with fibromyalgia. The disease seems to deeply affect all dimensions of sexual functioning in both females and males.