Fibromyalgia and Sexuality
Fibromyalgia can have major physical impacts on an individual. Fatigue and muscle pain can be debilitating symptoms of this condition and can affect every aspect of a person\'s life.
However one often over-looked impact of fibromyalgia is its effect on a person\'s sex life. While a decreased sex drive is not a common characteristic of fibromyalgia, fibromyalgia can lead to a lack of sexual interest (libido), a condition that often accompanies depression, stress and anxiety, and poor sleeping patterns.
It\'s important to discuss the effects of FMS on sexuality because a lack of sexual intimacy between two people can lead to a breakdown in the emotional bond in the relationship.
While FMS is more common in women, sexual side effects of fibromyalgia are also pertinent to men, as the effects of FMS on sexuality can affect both partners in a relationship.
What is the link between fibromyalgia and libido? Why does FMS cause a decrease in sexual desire?
Fibromyalgia leads to pain in the muscles; this creates pressure and squeezing in the pelvic area and in the lower back. During intercourse, these muscles cramp, creating a lot of discomfort for the individual. As a result, sexual intercourse becomes associated with negative physical sensations and is avoided.
Also, fatigue caused by FMS interrupts sleep patterns. This in turn affects intimacy, as the individual with FMS simply doesn\'t have the energy to engage in sexual intercourse.
Medications also play a role. Drugs prescribed to individuals with fibromyalgia often contain high levels of serotonin, a hormone that results in decreased libido and a decreased erectile ability.
Another fundamental component of the link between FMS and sexuality is the emotional aspect of having FMS. FMS can lead to a negative self-image due to physical changes in the body like weight changes and muscle mass loss. Self-esteem is impacted, as feelings of anxiety and depression elevate to an often-overwhelming level. While anti-depressants can help treat these emotions, they also can lead to a decreased sexual desire and function.
The catch is that while sex can relieve symptoms of FMS, like pain and depression, FMS itself results in a decreased libido, fatigue and pain that hinder the individual\'
s desire and ability to engage in sexual intercourse.