Psychological and physical interdependence between fibromyalgia syndrome and menopause: a review of the literature.

Ciro Conversano, Rebecca Ciacchini, Anais Tropeano, Graziella Orrù, Angelo Gemignani


Background and Purpose: Fibromyalgia (FM) is a very complex chronic pain condition, characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain, fatigue and numerous other physical and psychological symptoms, such as insomnia, morning stiffness, anxiety, depressive disorders and cognitive dysfunctions. Most women with FM are also between the ages of 40 to 55 years old, around the pre‐menopausal and menopausal period. As FM, Menopause (MP) is also associated with physical and psychological symptoms, being the end of ovarian activity, whose decline produces a series of trophic, metabolic, psychological and sexual consequences, altering the homeostatic balance of the woman. The aim of the study was to investigate whether both of the treated syndromes constitute a single nosological entity, or two distinct nosological entities and the most accredited hypothesis.

Methods: Through the analysis of the scientific literature, FM and MP have been analyzed using the predicted research objective as a guiding criterion. It was considered useful to analyze the two syndromes separately and then to identify a criterion of interdependence between them. The study was conducted through the use of some keywords included in the main scientific search databases.

Results and conclusions: Our research highlight the potential menopausal influence on FM, given that the progressive depletion of ovarian activity constitutes the pathophysiological substratum of profound hormonal changes, with implications not only in terms of somatic symptoms, but also in terms of psychological distress. Furthermore, the lack of scientific evidence about psychological correlations between the two syndromes provides an interesting starting point for future research.


Menopause; Fibromyalgia; Clinical Psychology; Chronic Pain.

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