Sexual Desire, Depressive Symptoms and Medication Use Among Women With Fibromyalgia in Flanders

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Fibromyalgia (FM) is associated with sexual dysfunction, though much less is known about the sexual desire, and especially dyadic and solitary sexual desire, among women with fibromyalgia.

AIM: To investigate on the one hand the global sexual desire, the dyadic sexual and solitary sexual desire, and on the other hand the association with depressive symptoms, fibromyalgia symptoms and medication use among women with fibromyalgia in Flanders, Belgium.

METHODS: An online survey was spread through the Flemish league for Fibromyalgia Patients to be completed by women with fibromyalgia. The sexual desire inventory-2 (SDI-2) was used to measure sexual desire (global, dyadic, solitary), the VASFIQ for fibromyalgia symptoms, and the PHQ-2 for depressive symptoms, while also including questions on demographic factors (time since FM, age) and medication usage (antidepressants, pain medication, sleeping medication).

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE: Global sexual desire, dyadic sexual desire and solitary sexual desire were studied in relation to depressive symptoms, medication use and fibromyalgia symptoms.

RESULTS: One hundred and three women with FM answered the survey. Depressive symptoms were significantly associated with a lower global, dyadic and solitary sexual desire, as was the use of antidepressant medication. The association between solitary sexual desire and depressive symptoms disappeared when controlled for antidepressant medication. Age, fibromyalgia symptoms nor time since diagnosis were significantly associated with any form of sexual desire.

CONCLUSION: Depressive symptoms and antidepressant medication, and not fibromyalgia symptoms, were associated with decreased sexual desire of women with FM. As antidepressant medication and depressive symptoms are associated with a decreased sexual desire, more attention should be paid towards the mental health issues associated with fibromyalgia, as well as the prescription of antidepressant medication. This study is the first to investigate sexual desire among women with fibromyalgia in Flanders, and one of the few internationally to have done so. It is limited by its cross-sectional design, and for not providing information on men with FM. Van Overmeire R, Vesentini L, Vanclooster S, et al., Sexual Desire, Depressive Symptoms and Medication Use Among Women With Fibromyalgia in Flanders. Sex Med 2021;XX:XXXXXX.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100457
JournalSexual Medicine
Volume10
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2022

Bibliographical note

Copyright © 2021 International Society for Sexual Medicine. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Keywords

  • Depression
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Sexual Desire

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