Women with fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) have broad and persistent musculoskeletal pain, as well as other bothersome symptoms such as female sexual problems, which diminish the quality and frequency of their sexual connections. For a study, researchers sought to compare sexual dysfunction in women with FMS to healthy controls. A meta-analysis was carried out as part of the systematic review. Until February 2021, the literature was searched using PubMed Medline, Scopus, Web of Science, CINAHL, SciELO, and PsycINFO PROQUEST. Observational studies that examined sexual function in two groups (women with FMS and healthy controls) were considered. In a random-effects model, the pooled effect was computed using Cohen’s standardized mean difference (SMD) and its 95% CI.
About 12 studies with a total of 1,367 women were included (766 diagnosed with FMS and 601 healthy controls). According to the Newcastle-Ottawa Scale, the methodological quality of the included studies was moderate. Our data revealed a severe sexual dysfunction in women with FMS (SMD = 1.72; 95% CI, 1.18–2.26; P<0.001). Furthermore, among women with FMS, the secondary outcomes that were most affected were sexual pleasure (SMD = 2.09; 95% CI, 2.83 to 1.36; P<0.001) and discomfort during sexual encounters (SMD = 1.97; 95% CI, 2.81 to 1.12; P<0.001). When compared to healthy women, women with FMS had much more sexual dysfunction and other related sexual issues, such as an increase in sexual discomfort and a decrease in sexual desire or sexual satisfaction.