Healthy Living

Keeping Intimacy – Fibromyalgia in Romantic Relationships

Fibromyalgia and a Diminishing Sex Drive

Intimacy plays a major role in the survival of many relationships, most especially romantic ones. Couples that show intimacy are more likely to last, because it is a way of letting each other know that one is still interested in keeping the relationship going. Engaging in sexual acts is one popular way for couples to show intimacy, but for people with fibromyalgia, it can seem like a very tedious thing to do. Aside from the pain one might most probably encounter during the act, a bigger problem commonly shared among fibromyalgia patients is the missing desire to do it. Several patients with the disease claim to have reduced sexual activity with their partners or even none at all ever since they were diagnosed with the disease. Any idea why this might be? It is often due to the medication that is being taken.

To alleviate the symptoms of fibromyalgia, patients take in a variety of medicines such as duloxetine, milnacipran, and antidepressants; most of which are known to contain compounds that can seep out a person’s sex drive. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor type antidepressants (SSRIs) in particular are notorious for their negative side effects on libido by lowering dopamine and norepinephrine levels in the brain, leading to lowered desire for sex and delayed orgasm. Other possible culprits are fatigue, menopause in female middle aged fibromyalgia patients, and the impotency of the other partner.