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Current Rheumatology Reviews


ISSN (Print): 1573-3971
ISSN (Online): 1875-6360

Sexual Dysfunction among Women with Connective Tissue Disease

Author(s): Erica Anderson, Leah M. Triplett, Paul J. Nietert and Alan N. Brown

Volume 5, Issue 2, 2009

Page: [126 - 132] Pages: 7

DOI: 10.2174/157339709788298446

Price: $65


Sexuality is an important aspect of quality of life that is often neglected in research studies and is rarely assessed in routine clinical practice. Patients may feel embarrassed to mention their sexual concerns and many health care providers feel uncomfortable taking a sexual history. The exact prevalence of sexual dysfunction in the general population is not known, but it is clearly very common and women are affected more often than men. Since the majority of connective tissue diseases have a female predilection, sexual dysfunction likely has a large impact on many of our patients. Furthermore, the clinical manifestations of these diseases such as joint pain, deformity and decreased physical function among many others have a major effect on sexual function. We will report results on the prevalence of sexual dysfunction among women with systemic sclerosis from our own institution. A validated questionnaire, The Female Sexual Function Index (FSFI), consisting of six domains was used to assess the multidimensional nature of female sexual dysfunction among women with scleroderma. Our results show a high prevalence of sexual dysfunction among female scleroderma patients compared to a healthy control population. We will also provide a review of the literature on sexual dysfunction among women in a variety of other connective tissue diseases including rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, and Sjogrens syndrome.

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