Fibromyalgia has a way of affecting many areas of our lives and the affect on many patients’ sex lives is no exception. A recent study by Nursing Standard had a dual purpose:
- To investigate whether a questionnaire developed for patients with RA could be used with Fibromyalgia patients.
- To assess the impact of Fibromyalgia on sexual activity.
With the first two stages of the study, five patients with Fibromyalgia completed a sexuality questionnaire in an audio-taped interview. During the second phase of the study, 60 Fibromyalgia patients completed a self-report questionnaire.
The findings of the study revealed that the interview data confirmed that the content of the RA sexuality questionnaire was relevant to patients with Fibromyalgia. A total of 43 (72%) questionnaires were returned and 41 of these were usable.
The patients in the study reported that their Fibromyalgia had altered their sexual relationship. The main reasons reported were pain, fatigue, stiffness, reduced sexual drive and the effects of drug therapy.
The symptoms associated with fibromyalgia had a negative effect on sexual enjoyment. The questionnaire appears to be useful in addressing sexuality in patients with fibromyalgia.