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Comorbid Fibromyalgia Accounts for Reduced Fecundity in Women With Myofascial Face Pain

Raphael, Karen G. Ph.D.; Marbach, Joseph J. D.D.S.

The Clinical Journal of Pain: March 2000 - Volume 16 - Issue 1 - p 29-36

Objective: This study examined factors related to reduced fecundity among women with myofascial face pain (MFP) arising from hypotheses concerning the role of neurohormonal factors in MFP and associated conditions.

Design: Fecundity rates among 162 MFP cases and 173 demographically equivalent acquaintance female controls were compared.

Outcome Measures: Fecundity indicators and factors underlying differential fecundity rates were investigated.

Results: It was determined that female cases with MFP had significantly fewer children and were more likely to have never been pregnant. Although women with MFP were more likely than controls to indicate that volitional factors related to their health discouraged them from any or additional pregnancies, these factors did not account for lower rates of fecundity. MFP cases also did not differ from controls on self-reported indicators of infertility. Moreover, we show that reduced fecundity was restricted to the subgroup of MFP cases who reported a history of fibromyalgia.

Conclusions: Reduced fecundity in women with MFP is restricted to those who self-report a history of fibromyalgia. Possible mechanisms for reduced fecundity in fibromyalgia are discussed. These findings highlight the need to screen for widespread pain among women with regional myofascial pain syndromes.

Department of Psychiatry, New Jersey Medical School, and School of Oral Biology, Pathology, and Diagnostic Sciences, New Jersey Dental School, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, Newark, New Jersey

Received August 5, 1999; revised October 5, 1999; accepted October 14, 1999.

Address correspondence to Dr. Karen Raphael, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, 30 Bergen Street, ADMC 14, Newark, NJ 07107; e-mail:

© 2000 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.