Many Women with Fibromyalgia Suffer from Pelvic Pain

FEBRUARY 11, 2016
Caitlyn Fitzpatrick
rheumatology, pain management, fibromyalgia, pelvic painWhen more and more women with fibromyalgia began seeking care for pelvic pain syndromes, researchers from Oregon Health & Science University set out to examine the connection in a larger group of patients.

Fibromyalgia causes widespread pain, fatigue, and even psychological problems. The chronic condition is more prevalent in females than males and typically targets middle-aged adults. Comorbidities in these patients, such as headache, sleep problems, and other pain syndromes, are not uncommon. Recent research found that pelvic floor and urinary distress is also prevalent in women with fibromyalgia.

“Fibromyalgia patients were recently found to have more symptom burden from bothersome pelvic pain syndromes that women seeking care for pelvic floor disease at an urogynecology clinic,” the authors described in American Society for Pain Management Nursing. The study included 177 females with an average age of 52.3. Each patient completed three online questionnaires: the Revised Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire (FIQR), the Pelvic Floor Distress Inventory 20 (PFDI-20), and the Pelvic Pain, Urgency and Frequency Questionnaire (PUF).

The FIQR questions were designed to measure fibromyalgia severity by asking patients about their symptoms and difficulty levels with certain activities.

“Fibromyalgia severity based on FIQR score (57.2 ±14.9) positively correlated with PFDI-20 total 159.08 ±55.2 and PUF total 16.54 ±7,” the researchers found.

These findings indicate that women with fibromyalgia have significant pelvic floor and urinary symptoms. These kinds of validated questionnaires can be incorporated into the typical clinical practice.

“Fibromyalgia management should include evaluation and treatment of pelvic floor disorders recognizing that pelvic distress and urinary symptoms are associated with more severe fibromyalgia symptoms,” the authors advised.

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