The Effect of Frequency of Sexual Intercourse on Symptoms in Women with Fibromyalgia

Sisli Etfal Hastan Tip Bul. 2024 Apr 5;58(1):91-96. doi: 10.14744/SEMB.2023.97254. eCollection 2024.


Objectives: Fibromyalgia is known to affect sexual function, but the effect of frequency of sexual intercourse on fibromyalgia symptom severity is unclear. This study investigated how frequently women with fibromyalgia engaged in sexual activity affected how severe the disease was.

Methods: The depression status of the participants was evaluated with the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) and the mean monthly frequency of sexual intercourse in the last 3 months was noted. Pain levels of fibromyalgia patients were evaluated with Visual Analog Scale (VAS), pain prevalence Widespread Pain Index (WPI), symptom level Symptom Severity Scale (SSS), and fibromyalgia exposure status with Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire (FIQ).

Results: A hundred women with fibromyalgia with a mean age of 37.11±6.2 years and 100 healthy female controls with a mean age of 36.53 ± 5.85 years participated in the study. Female patients with fibromyalgia had higher BDI and VAS scores and lower frequency of sexual intercourse (p<0.001). While no significant relationship was observed between the frequency of sexual intercourse and VAS, FIQ, SSS and WPI scores, it was found that BDI was lower in those with an average monthly frequency of 8 or more sexual intercourses (p=0.02).

Conclusion: This study revealed that the frequency of sexual intercourse is low in female patients with FM and that depression is less common in women with FM who have a higher frequency of sexual intercourse.

Keywords: Depression; disease severity; fibromyalgia; pain; sexual intercourse.