Lower urinary tract symptoms and perineal function in women with and without fibromyalgia: a cross-sectional study.


Hellen Cristina Souza de Carvalho Fusco


Department of Physiotherapy, Speech Therapy and Occupational Therapy, Faculty of Medicine, University of São Paulo, Rua Cipotânea, 51, Cidade Universitária, São Paulo, Brazil. [Email]


OBJECTIVE : Fibromyalgia (FM) studies have focused on pain, but a 2010 review of the diagnostic criteria pointed to other symptoms including urinary incontinence (UI). Women with FM present pain, fatigue, and reduced muscle strength; the research hypothesis was that pelvic floor (PF) muscles would be weaker; therefore, FM could be associated with lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) and compromise quality of life (QoL). The aim of this paper was to compare PF function, urinary symptoms, and their impact on QoL in women with and without FM and to verify if there is association between FM and LUTS.
METHODS : We performed a cross-sectional study with 126 sexually active women aged between 19 and 65 years old, distributed in two groups, women with FM (FG n = 62) and without FM (NFG n = 64). Perineal function was the primary outcome and was assessed by perineometry and bidigital vaginal palpation (PERFECT Scheme). Presence of LUTS was assessed by interview based on international definition, and the impact of UI on QoL was evaluated by the King's Health Questionnaire (KHQ).
RESULTS : FG presented worse PF function on clinical exam (p < 0.001) and perineometry (p = 0.04). LUTS was more frequent among FG (p < 0.001). In terms of QoL, FG obtained lower KHQ scores for general health perception (p < 0.001) and sleep/energy (p < 0.003) domains. The odds of presenting LUTS is 5.03 (95%CI 2.35-10.75) higher in women with FM.
CONCLUSIONS : Women with FM had worse perineal function, had more LUTS, and presented UI more frequently, which negatively impacts on QoL.


Fibromyalgia,Pelvic floor,Quality of life,Urinary incontinence,