Assessment of sexual functions in female patients with ankylosing spondylitis compared with healthy controls

Demir S. E. , REZVANİ A. , Ok S.

RHEUMATOLOGY INTERNATIONAL, vol.33, no.1, pp.57-63, 2013 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 33 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2013
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s00296-011-2340-x
  • Page Numbers: pp.57-63


Healthy human sexuality is integral to a well-lived life. Recent studies reported that sexual problems were common in patients with ankylosing spondylitis (AS) in relation to the consequences of the illness such as pain, stiffness of the spine and depression. Twenty-three female patients with AS and 27 healthy female controls were applied the Female Sexual Function Index (FSFI) to determine the influence of the disease on sexual functions. The rate of low sexual function was 60.9% in female patients with AS and 66.7% in healthy controls (P > 0.05). Ten patients were depressed in our study group according to the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), while 15 healthy controls were depressed (P > 0.05). No statistically significant differences were found between the female patients and controls in FSFI and BDI scores. There was a significant correlation between BDI and total FSFI, desire and orgasm domains in female patients with AS. Pain, disease activity and functional status of the patients with AS were correlated with FSFI. However, there was no correlation between spinal mobility, laboratory parameters and sexual functions. General health, vitality, emotional role and mental health subscales of Short Form-36 were correlated with total FSFI scores. We did not find any relationship between AS quality of life scale and sexual functions. Sexual dysfunctions are common, but not different in female patients with AS when compared with healthy controls. Sexual problems in female patients with AS seem to be associated with higher depression level, increased disease activity, decreased functionality, higher pain scores and decreased quality of life.