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Clin Exp Rheumatol. 2013 Sep-Oct;31(5):683-90. Epub 2013 May 27.

Gynaecological symptoms and sexual disability in women with primary Sjögren's syndrome and sicca syndrome.

Author information

1
Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Rheumatology, University of Florence, Italy. s.maddali@dac.unifi.it.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

This paper aims to investigate women with primary Sjögren's syndrome (pSS) and sicca syndrome (SS), focusing on the prevalence of disease-related symptoms and their impact on sexual ability, relationship, communication about sexuality with partner and health professionals (HP).

METHODS:

Sixty-two women with pSS and 33 with SS were assessed for sexual activity, relationship with partner, communication about sex; for physical disability and body esteem, fatigue, disability, quality of life (QoL), anxiety and depression.

RESULTS:

Around 55% patients had a relationship; >79% and around 70% at least 1 gynaecological (especially dryness), and 1 muscle-skeletal symptom, respectively; around 60% sex disability for disease-related symptoms, mainly dryness (p=NS for all comparisons between pSS and SS). In both groups, disease changed sexual activity (around 50%), causing limitation (around 50%) and reduced frequency (>80%) in sexual intercourses; sex pleasure and satisfaction were around 30% and 25% (p=NS for pSS vs. SS). Around 55% patients discussed with partner disease-effects on relationship; despite in around 70% partner understood difficulties, in around 34% disease altered relationship (p=NS for pSS vs. SS). Around 16% patients were asked by HP if disease affected sexuality, around 30% never approached anyone to discuss about sex (p=NS for pSS vs. SS). Disability, QOL, mood, fatigue, similar in pSS versus SS (p=NS), were not affected by xerostomia and xeroftalmia, but by sex concerns and sex disability.

CONCLUSIONS:

Patients with pSS and SS present, often and at the same extent, gynaecological symptoms, leading to impaired sexual intercourse, affecting pleasure, satisfaction, sexual ability.

PMID:
23710558
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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