Sexual dysfunction in women with rheumatoid arthritis

Aras, Huriye; Aras, Bekir; Icagasioglu, Afitap; Yumusakhuylu, Yasemin; Kemahli, Eray; Haliloglu, Sema; Oguz, Fusun Moral
August 2013
Medicinski Glasnik;Aug2013, Vol. 10 Issue 2, p327
Academic Journal
Aim Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is a widespread disease which leads to various degrees of disability and profound impact on overall life quality of the patient with regard to social, economic, psychological and sexual aspects. It may be assumed that RA can affect sexual function. The aim of this study was to evaluate the sexual function in female subjects with RA. Methods A total of 186 married women (age range 30-60 years) were included in this study. Of the total participants, 104 were RA patients and 82 were healthy women. Hospital anxiety and depression scale (HADS), Health Assessment Questionnaire (HAQ) and Disease Activity Score (DAS) were used to evaluate the differences between the controls and patient group. Sexual functions were evaluated using the validated Female Sexual Function Index (FSFI). Results The mean age of the RA patients and controls was 46.71 ± 7.65 and 43.98 ± 7.97, respectively. According to the total sexual function score evaluation, 97 out of 104 women with RA (93.7 %) and in 53 out of 82 women in control group (64.6 %) were regarded as having sexual dysfunction (SD). There was significant difference between these two subgroups with regard to only depression factor. Conclusion Current results have demonstrated that patients with RA have had a higher sexual dysfunction rate, when compared with the control group. SD may be related to perceived depression, which are frequently encountered conditions in patients with RA.


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