The impact of systemic lupus erythematosus on women's sexual functioning: A systematic review and meta-analysis

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A number of studies have reported the relationship between women's sexual problems and systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). However, the results are contradictory. The objective of this paper was to explore the impact of SLE on women's sexual function.


PubMed, Web of Science, CNKI Scholar, VIP and WanFang databases were searched up to April 2017. Studies evaluating the impact of SLE on women's sexual function with the use of Female Sexual Function Index (FSFI) scoring system were included. Statistical analyses were executed using version 5.0 Review Manager statistical software. Data were pooled using a fixed or random effects model according to heterogeneity.


A total of 2 identified studies matched the inclusion criteria, reporting on a total of 236 patients with SLE. No significant difference was observed between SLE patients and healthy controls on desire (P = .24; MD = −0.44 [−1.17, 0.29]), arousal (P = .12; MD = −0.39 [−0.89, 0.11]), lubrication (P = .17; MD = −0.53 [−1.28, 0.23]), orgasm (P = .27; MD = −0.27 [−0.75, 0.21]), satisfaction (P = .25; MD = −0.10 [−0.27, 0.07]) and pain (P = .17; MD = −0.50 [−1.22, 0.22]), except for total FSFI (P = .001; MD = −1.24 [−1.97, −0.50]).


SLE has some influence on women’ sexual function. However, further studies of a larger population of female patients are required to further evaluate the mechanism by which SLE affects sexual function.

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