Fibromyalgia and Women

Fibromyalgia syndrome and specifically, fibromyalgia symptoms, can have a major impact on a woman’s health. In fact, fibromyalgia affects more women than men. The effects of fibromyalgia syndrome on women’s health can be quite serious, as they can affect their reproductive health, including PMS and menopause, as well as their ability to acheive pregnancy. But why does FMS affect more women than men, and what kinds of effects can fibromyalgia have on a woman’s health?

Why Does Fibromyalgia Syndrome Affect More Women Than Men?

Fibromyalgia syndrome affects three to six million Americans, 85 to 90% of whom are women. Experts are unsure as to why FMS affects more women than it does men.

In addition, a recent study found that African-American women are more likely to suffer from fibromyalgia than their Caucasian counterparts. It is not yet understood why this is the case. Furthermore, while African-American women experience more severe widespread pain, Caucasian women experience a significantly increased level of pain.

 

The Effects of Fibromyalgia Syndrome on Women’s Health

There are a number of different effects that fibromyalgia can have on a woman’s health:

Fibromyalgia and Reproductive Health
Studies have identified a link between fibromyalgia and a woman’s reproductive health. In fact, women with fibromyalgia syndrome are more likely to have reproductive health-related diagnoses. For example, there is a higher incidence of dysmenorrhea and breast cysts among women who have FMS.

In addition, fibromyalgia can also impact a women’s sexuality, including her libido.

Fibromyalgia and Pregnancy
Women with fibromyalgia also have more severe pregnancy symptoms. A study found that pregnant women who had fibromyalgia experienced greater stiffness, pain and fatigue in comparison to pregnant women who did not have fibromyalgia syndrome.

However, oftentimes these symptoms are misdiagnosed as normal pregnancy symptoms.

Fibromyalgia and PMS
There is also a link between fibromyalgia syndrome and the severity of a woman’s premenstrual syndrome symptoms. Women with fibromyalgia have been found to have more serious PMS symptoms, including more severe headaches, insomnia, back pain and abdominal cramping.

Women with fibromyalgia also experience greater mental confusion and emotional upset during their menstrual cycle compared with women who do not have FMS.

Fibromyalgia and Menopause

The majority of women who have fibromyalgia syndrome are diagnosed between 40 and 55 years of age, which coincides with the average onset of menopause. Studies have shown that the relationship between fibromyalgia and menopause may be due to decreased levels of estrogen that occur during menopause. Decreased levels of cortisol may also be a contributing factor.

In addition, women in the post-menopausal stage may have more severe FMS-related symptoms compared with those with fibromyalgia who have not gone through menopause. Women in the post-menopausal stage produce 40% less estrogen compared with women who are pre-menopausal. Decreased estrogen levels are linked to common menopause symptoms such as depression, anxiety and sleep disorders, which are also common fibromyalgia symptoms.

 

Table of Contents
1. What is Fibromyalgia?
2. Fibromyalgia
3. Causes
4. System Dysfunction
5. Sleep Disturbance
6. Injury and Muscle Trauma
7. Men with Fibromyalgia
8. Fibromyalgia/Women
9. What to Expect
10. Who Gets Fibromyalgia?
11. Fibromyalgia & Pregnancy
12. Is Fibro Genetic
13. Fibromyalgia FAQs
14. FMS Myths
15. Fibromyalgia in Children
16. Fibromyalgia in Seniors
17. Food Allergies
18. You Care
19. Facts and Figures
20. Fibromyalgia Awareness
21. Fibromyalgia Research
22. Fibromyalgia Heroine
23. Sensory and Motor
24. Central Sensitization
25. Fibromyalgia Credibility
26. Hemochromatosis Testing
27. Fibromyalgia Myths
28. Risk of Fibromyalgia
29. Breastfeeding With FMS
30. Kids and FM
31. Hippocampus Excitability
32. Tissue Donor Program
33. Pediatric Fibromyalgia
34. FM Controversy
35. Circle Of Care
36. Dispelling The FM Myth
37. Fibromyalgia History
38. Heredity Fibromyalgia
39. Fibro Glossary Part 1
40. Juvenile Fibromyalgia
41. Fibro Glossary Part 2
42. Fibro Glossary Part 3
43. Fibro Glossary Part 4
44. Fibro Glossary Part 5
45. Fibro Glossary Part 6
46. Science Behind Fibro
47. Fibro Facts
48. Newly Diagnosed Fibro
49. Improve Understanding
50. Microbiome and Fibro
51. Fibro & Stress
52. Parents & Kids
53. Gluten Intolerance
54. The Journey
55. Leg Cramp Pain
56. MTHFR Gene Mutation
 
 
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