Chronic fatigue and sexual dysfunction in female Gulf War veterans

J Sex Marital Ther. Oct-Dec 2001;27(5):483-7. doi: 10.1080/713846825.


Chronic fatigue (CF) is one of the most common conditions reported by Gulf War veterans. This study evaluated female sexual dysfunction (FSD) in veterans with or without complaints of CF. Subjects were screened for medical and psychiatric causes of CF. They included 22 healthy subjects and 26 with fatiguing symptoms. FSD was reported by 10% of controls and by 60% of the fatigued (p < .002) while 19% versus 81% (p < .001) noted decreased libido. FSD was more prevalent in fatigued veterans than in the controls. This relationship was not mediated by an Axis I diagnosis. This appears to be the first report of sexual dysfunction in CF.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Fatigue Syndrome, Chronic / diagnosis
  • Fatigue Syndrome, Chronic / epidemiology
  • Fatigue Syndrome, Chronic / psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Persian Gulf Syndrome / psychology*
  • Prevalence
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Sexual Dysfunctions, Psychological / diagnosis
  • Sexual Dysfunctions, Psychological / epidemiology
  • Sexual Dysfunctions, Psychological / physiopathology
  • Vagina / physiopathology
  • Veterans / psychology*