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Over 80% of Women With Chronic Pelvic Pain Cope With Sexual Problems

Eighty-one percent of the women with CPP met the criteria for sexual dysfunction based on their FSFI scores. The rate for women without CPP was 58%. In addition, women with CPP had lower scores in the FSFI domains of desire, arousal, vaginal lubrication, orgasm, and pain compared to the women without CPP.

However, both groups had similar overall FSFI scores and satisfaction domain scores. “Satisfaction” in this sense refers to emotional closeness a woman feels with a partner during sex, her sexual relationship with her partner, and her sex life overall.

Women with CPP were more likely to have anxiety and depression, too, and the researchers suggested further study in this area. Depression in particular was associated with sexual problems in the CPP group.

Depression may diminish sex drive, deplete energy, contribute to poor self-esteem, and lead to social withdrawal, the authors explained.

What can women with CPP do? The first step is talking to their doctor. Depending on the cause, CPP might be treated with medications, hormone therapies, physical therapy, spinal cord stimulation, trigger point injections, and surgery. If depression is a concern, talk therapy can help. Women may also think about couples counseling or sex therapy.


Journal of Pain Research

Da Luz, Rosa Azevedo, et al.

“Evaluation of sexual function in Brazilian women with and without chronic pelvic pain”

(Full-text. November 8, 2018)

Mayo Clinic

“Chronic pelvic pain in women”

(August 11, 2017)

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