Fibromyalgia is a severe medical disorder that is typically characterized by widespread pain, usually due to a stimulus, which does not normally provoke pain. This painful response to pressure is not the only sign of the disease as it often comes along with unpleasant symptoms such as fatigue, sleep problems and stiffness of the joints.
In more severe cases, fibromyalgia may include problems with bowel and bladder control, numbness and tingling, cognitive dysfunction, and erectile dysfunction. However, only a small number of people worldwide suffer from erectile dysfunction due to fibromyalgia. The reason for this is that fibromyalgia affects only 2 to 4 percent of population, with a female to male incidence ratio of approximately 9:1.
Erectile dysfunction, also known as male impotence, is characterized by men’s inability to maintain an erection of a penis. Therefore, men suffering from erectile dysfunction are usually unable to maintain normal sexual performance, and they typically feel a lot of distress about their situation. While some men suffering from erectile dysfunction can obtain full erections at some times, usually when they are asleep, men suffering from erectile dysfunction due to fibromyalgia typically suffer from regular or repeated inability to obtain or maintain an erection.
Fibromyalgia and Erectile Dysfunction
Fibromyalgia affects patients on many different levels. The causes of this disease are yet unknown but several scientific hypotheses have proposed these patients have a lower threshold for pain because of increased sensitivity in the brain to pain signals. Other theories suggest stress can be an important factor in the development of fibromyalgia as it is commonly co-morbid with various stress-related disorders such as depression, chronic fatigue, etc.
Therefore, fibromyalgia can cause erectile dysfunction both directly and indirectly. For example, people suffering from fibromyalgia who are normally more sensitive to stress, may find any kind of pressure on the penile and testicular area too strong and unpleasant. Therefore, people with fibromyalgia often have reduced sexual drive, and sexual performance is for thema source of severe distress.
On the other hand, this may lead to increased performance anxiety, in which patients fear they will not be able to maintain sexual performance, which directly contributes to erectile dysfunction.
Similarly, if a connection between fibromyalgia and stress-related disorders is indeed so significant, it could explain why some people who suffer from fibromyalgia also suffer from erectile dysfunction. One of the most significant non-physiological causes of male impotence is stress, various psychological problems, and negative feelings.