*Doina RAMBA NIȚESCU1 MD,Ph.D., Dr. Veronica PAT2MD
1. Department of Internal Medicine “Colentina” Clinical Hospital-Internal Medicine Clinic 2. Clinic of Dentistry, Tel Aviv
Women suffering from systemic autoimmune rheumatic diseases, including primary Sjögren’s syndrome (pSS), have significant deterioration of their sexual activity that leads to impaired quality of life.
In rheumatology, sexual disability is underestimated, both in medical daily practice and in clinical trials, although it is known that patients with this type of disease also have decreased sexual capacity, caused by physical and psychological factors that reduce their sexual desire and satisfaction.
Primary Sjögren’s syndrome causes sicca syndrome (mucocutaneous dryness expressed mainly in the oral cavity) which causes sexual dysfunction in women with increasing severity of the disease, causing genital atrophy and dryness of the vulvovaginal mucosa.
In addition, the dysfunction is aggravated by mood swings associated with the disease, especially depression, as well as changes in peri-climacteric hormonal status. Both premenopausal and postmenopausal SSP patients have a poorer quality of sex life.
Clinical management of women with pSS should also include assessing patients’ sexual function and taking the necessary precautions to maintain their satisfactory quality of life.
autoimmune diseases, Sjögren’s syndrome, mucocutaneous dryness, menopause, depression, sexual dysfunction, quality of life