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Pain Research and Management
Volume 20, Issue 3, Pages 137-140
Original Article

The Relationship between Fibromyalgia and Pressure Pain Threshold in Patients with Dyspareunia

Hasan Terzi,1 Rabia Terzi,2 and Ahmet Kale1

1Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Kocaeli Derince Education and Research Hospital, Kocaeli, Turkey
2Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Kocaeli Derince Education and Research Hospital, Kocaeli, Turkey

Copyright © 2015 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the number of tender points, pressure pain threshold and presence of fibromyalgia among women with or without dyspareunia.

METHODS: The present cross-sectional study included 40 patients with dyspareunia and 30 healthy controls. The participants were asked if they had engaged in sexual intercourse during the previous four weeks, and dyspareunia was rated from 0 to 3 based on the Marinoff Dyspareunia Scale. A pressure algometer (dolorimeter) was used to measure the pressure pain threshold. Fibromyalgia was diagnosed based on the 1990 American College of Rheumatology criteria. The depression status of the participants was assessed using the Beck Depression Inventory.

RESULTS: No statistically significant difference was found with regard to age, body mass index, habits (alcohol use and smoking), educational status and occupational status between the two groups. Total myalgic score, total control score and tender point mean pain threshold were significantly lower in the group with dyspareunia. The number of tender points was significantly higher in patients with dyspareunia. The mean Beck Depression Inventory score was 14.7 ±8.4 in the dyspareunia group compared with 11.2 ±7.1 in the control group. Five (12.5%) of the patients with dyspareunia were diagnosed with fibromyalgia, whereas no patients in the control group were diagnosed with fibromyalgia. There was no significant difference between the two groups with regard to the presence of fibromyalgia.

CONCLUSION: The finding of lower pressure pain thresholds and a higher number of tender points among patients with dyspareunia suggests that these patients may have increased generalized pain thresholds. Additional studies involving a larger number of patients are required to investigate the presence of central mechanisms in the pathogenesis of dyspareunia.