Rheumatoid Arthritis :: Rheumatoid arthritis may impair patient?s sexual desire

People suffering form rheumatoid arthritis may find their sexual activities reaching an all time low, a study finds.

New research, presented at the 7th EULAR annual congress, revealed that every one third of rheumatoid arthritis patients feel their condition has considerably a negative influence on their sexual desire.

A considerable number of respondents said that their arthritis condition is having a considerable impact on their sexuality, with every one in 10 patients reported that their rheumatoid arthritis made sexual activity either almost or totally impossible.

The research showed that men were more likely to report large impact of health status on sexual activity as compared to the female patients. Also that patients with less than 12 years of education more likely to report large impact, compared to those with more than 12 years education.

Rheumatoid arthritis has a wide ranging impact on patients’ health, causing multiple medical, physical and psychological problems, all of which have the potential to impair patients’ ability to conduct everyday tasks that others take for granted.

Surprisingly, whilst joint pain associated with the disease was not reported as playing a significant factor, higher levels of fatigue and functional limitation predicted perceived problems with sexual activity.

“Today’s findings indicate the need for increased attention on effect of rheumatoid arthritis on sexual activity as well as reveal that sexual problems should be addressed as part of the general health care given to RA patients,” Ylva Helland, department of Rheumatology, Diakonhjemmet Hospital, Oslo, Norway, said.

“The complexity of the issue requires a broad and multi-disciplinary approach by health personnel to ensure patients are not limited in their ability to have sex”, he added.

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