How Does Fibromyalgia Affect Women Differently?


Increased bladder pain and bowel problems in women


Fibromyalgia can make worse other issues related to CPPD, such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and bladder problems. Research shows that people with fibromyalgia and IBS also have a higher chance of developing internal cystitis, or painful bladder syndrome (PBS). Roughly 32 percent of people who have IBS also have PBS. Studies show that IBS is also more common in women. Roughly 12 to 24 percent of women have it, while just 5 to 9 percent of men have IBS.


Both PBS and IBS can cause:

  • pain or cramps in the lower abdomen
  • pain during intercourse
  • pain during urination
  • pressure on the bladder
  • increased need to pee, all times of the day

Research suggests that both PBS and IBS have similar causes to fibromyalgia, although the exact relationship is unknown.


More fatigue and feelings of depression in women

A study, published in the Oxford University Press, looked at the occurrences of depression in men and women who have fibromyalgia. Researchers found that women who have the condition reported significantly higher levels of depression than men.


Other conditions that often occur alongside fibromyalgia can keep you awake at night. These include restless legs syndrome and sleep apnea. A lack of sleep can contribute to feelings of fatigue and depression. You may feel tired and have trouble concentrating during the day, even with a full night’s rest. An inappropriate amount of sleep can also increase your sensitivity to pain. Continue…

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