Poor Sexual Health Among Women with Fibromyalgia Needs More Attention, Researchers Say

Poor Sexual Health Among Women with Fibromyalgia Needs More Attention, Researchers Say
Fibromyalgia can be a significant obstacle to sexual health among affected women, according to a recent study, which underscored that a lack of understanding among partners contributes to poor sexual relationships. Pain or stiffness related to sexual acts also tends to give rise to a downward spiral of worries and fears related to sexuality, which then further aggravates the problem by reducing the desire for, and pleasure of, sex. Still, not all women with fibromyalgia see lost sexuality as a problem, the study, “Perceptions about the sexuality of women with fibromyalgia syndrome: a phenomenological study,” showed. The work was published in the Journal of Advanced Nursing. The research team at the University of Almeria in Spain used a qualitative approach to study sexuality among women with fibromyalgia. Six women underwent semi-structured interviews where researchers addressed various aspects of sexual health. Not surprisingly, pain and stiffness were factors that played major roles in interfering with sexual activities, the women reported. Women also reported that sex and even foreplay caused them to get skin lesions and bruises. Pain can be felt before, during, and after sex, and sometimes deterred women from future sexual activity. The abnormal pain response in fibromyalgia, in which a light touch can produce intense pain, is not always understood by partners, complicating sexual relationships. And stiffness after sexual intercourse can be so severe it prevents women from urinating, the study showed. Some m
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  1. Bronwyn says:

    Yes to the above. I have spent months trying to find answers to this added issue with Fibro. I so miss the intimacy that I used to have with my husband. (not the orgasmic issue, but just having close physical contact with him). The pain that is experienced during intercourse is Unbearable, and then leaves me so sore , and then due to the “jarring sensation on my spine” I end up with such a bad headache/pain at base of skull, that I have just started not to go there.
    Any help/research to deal with this issue for us would be so helpful to many. Thankyou.

  2. The pain of being touched, made Sex too difficult, too painful, unpleasant. We ended our sexual relationship much earlier than we wanted. Fortunately, our marriage has many more facets.

  3. Mandy says:

    This issue is very interesting for me, but for the opposite reasons of the other people posting. My partner and I have actually become closer and more intimate since my diagnosis. We are both very passionate people and our sex life is important to our relationship. We keep communication open and my partner is very understanding about my condition and always takes my comfort level into consideration above anything else. I don’t have a problem being touched as long as it’s fairly gentle and I find massage relaxing, I exercise fairly regularly too. I think this has helped me to be able to still enjoy being sexually active despite the chronic pain. Another perk is that the orgasms are a great short-term stress reliever and muscle-relaxer!

  4. Tae says:

    This sounds exactly like part of my struggles with fibro. I’m 27 and can’t have any sort of sex life with my husband. It is so painful. I was recently diagnosed with Vulvadynia, which I have read is something common that women fibro suffers can get. I’m waiting to see a specialist. Hoping I will get help on how to manage it. I just want to feel normal and feel like my marriage is normal. Luckily I have a very understanding husband, who helps me to not give up and get through each day. Any info on how to manage this would be appreciated❤️

  5. I can so agree with the posts above. My constant pain has hindered our sexual relationship as well as my husbands two knee replacements. Just the slightest touch and I cringe because it hurts, my hubby understands but at the same time wants to be close and intimate and I try to avoid because it hurts. I miss it and at the same time dread it.

  6. Connie Alvarez says:

    Interesting article. My problem is that the medications I am taking have made it impossible to achieve orgasm. I have discussed this with my doctor but it can be difficult to find an alternative medication that is covered by my health plan. Also, being sexual dysfunctional adds to my depression at times. Does anyone else experience this problem? It would be wonderful if someone would share their experience. I know it can be difficult to discuss for some people. Meanwhile, God bless all of you. ??

  7. Melissa says:

    This is a topic that warrants much more discussion. I wonder how many women (and men) address it with their physicians and what suggestions are offered? The resulting pain and stiffness I experienced from repetitive movements associated with sex were actually my first fibro symptoms. Still a problem.

  8. Bibi Person says:

    Agree to all of the above plus some. I used to, always, get flares from sexual intercourse. At some point I would just skip the foreplay because I would have a flare before being able to share the love. It made me uncomfortable trying to find a new partner and it would scare a lot of people away. Luckily I found my husband who loves me no matter what and that support got me through it.

  9. Molly Baker says:

    I don’t even know where to begin with this article. It’s so true on sooo many levels. My desire for sex has come to a complete dead stop. It hurts to even think about having sex. The stress on me for the act itself and knowing that I’ll be in pain for days afterwards does not help me at all.
    It makes me terrified to start a new relationship. Luckily now that this article is out I can share this with my next significant other (God willing) and maybe he will understand this side of me.
    It destroyed my last relationship. All he wanted was sex and he did not seem to ever understand that it hurt so bad every time. I would give in to appease him but it just made me feel worse about myself.
    Like what is wrong with me? Why does my body refuse to work the way it should? Why am I not allowed simple pleasures at all? The depression is real. The guilt is real. The feelings of worthlessness are real. They exist.
    And a lot of it stems from this ONE ISSUE.

  10. D Fisher says:

    I found this article because my partner of 12 years said he’s leaving the first of the year. I have no interest in sex, because of the pain it causes me. I’m 45, and he’s 53. Diagnosed with fibro 7 years ago. I honestly feel like he think I’m lazy or faking it, so although I hate to see him leave because we have a 8 year old together, I’m kind of relieved and looking forward to it as well. Am I wrong to feel that way?

    • Bianca says:

      I am so sorry your going through this…

      Your feelings are understandable.
      Almost as it will be a relief not to have the constant guilt of not doing something tbat you simply just cant right now 🙁 My issues are a little different but also similar…

      I wish you the best; and if this brings you peace then; everything happens for a reason…however Im still teying to figure the reason for this fibro.

      Be well ~

  11. Lonely because of Fibromyalgia says:

    Well I’m on the other side of this ladies. My wife who I adore and love more than life has this Fibromyalgia, it sux. I hate to see her in pain and would gladly swap places with her so she didn’t have to deal with the pain. You must know that men are different and we still need sex to feel loved, to feel worthwhile, to feel like a man, to relieve stress, and to feel needed. I understand my wife’s problem and it kills me to not be able to just hold her. Our sex life several yrs back was constant, we enjoyed it together up until she hurt her back and they failed with surgery. I think about the old times, I wish I could have it again. I never looked at other women because my wife was all the woman I needed, beautiful, smart, funny, and a 10 in bed. Now I find myself looking at other women. Not that I would act on it but I feel terrible that I’m looking at others. I have had thoughts that maybe after being together for 12 yrs if I should walk away, I love my wife dearly, but our lack of intimacy causes me pain. My groin at times feels like I was hit with a hammer, at that point the wife helps me out. I feel as though she doesn’t love me like she once did, I know she loves me but it’s the lack of interest that makes us feel unwanted. I have tried everything short of getting a girlfriend on the side, which I couldn’t ever do because I don’t cheat. I love my wife but at times it’s very hard to stay together with the lack of a physical relationship. I love to give massages but she can’t handle light touch so I can’t even rub on her. I’m just venting I guess. Best of luck to you all.

  12. Lost wife says:

    I’m still waiting on an actual diagnosis…I have a scheduled sleep test coming up but all signs point to fibro.
    My mother and a younger sister also suffer from fibro.
    I wish I could say that my husband has been supportive and understanding but that wouldn’t be true. I think he tries to understand but just can’t.
    Our sex life has been hit hard. We used to have sex sometimes 3 times a day. We recently got married last September and everything has gone down hill since.
    I hurt everywhere all the time! My hips and shoulders are the worst.
    Even trying forplay makes my shoulders ache!
    He says I make him feel humiliated and unwanted. It doesn’t matter how much I try to talk to him and make him understand he acts like it’s my fault I feel this way!
    I’m stressed, scared, and lost!

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