Rainbow at shoreline

The Massachusetts CFIDS/ME & FM Association, a 501(c)3 founded in 1985, exists to meet the needs of patients with CFIDS (Chronic Fatigue and Immune Dysfunction Syndrome, also known as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome), ME (Myalgic Encephalomyelitis) or FM (Fibromyalgia), their families and loved ones. The Massachusetts CFIDS/ME & FM Association works to educate health-care providers and the general public regarding these severely-disabling physical illnesses. We also support patients and their families and advocate for more effective treatment and research.

Pamuk, O.N. et al., "Increased Frequencies of Hysterectomy and Early Menopause in Fibromyalgia Patients: A Comparative Study," Clin Rheumatol Jan 24 (2009). [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 19169621

Methods and Results. The objective was to determine the relationship between symptoms of fibromyalgia (FM) and early menopause and hysterectomy.

We included 115 postmenopausal patients with FM (mean age 54.6 +/- 7.6) and 67 rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients (mean age 55.5 +/- 9) into our study. All patients were questioned about the severity of their symptoms of FM, anxiety, and depression by using a visual analog scale and FM impact questionnaire. Patients' history of menopause and hysterectomy were recorded.

Menopause at age less than 45 years was accepted to mean "early". The frequencies of early menopause (38.3% vs. 13.4%, p < 0.001) and hysterectomy (16.5% vs. 6%, p 0.05). FM-related symptoms started in 30 patients (26.1%) with FM with menopause or within the first postmenopausal year. When the clinical features of FM patients whose symptoms started within the first menopausal year were compared to other FM patients; it was observed that the frequency of early menopause was higher in the former group (p < 0.048). The Duke anxiety and depression score was higher in patients with hysterectomy whose FM symptoms started within the first year of post-hysterectomy than other FM patients (9.1 +/- 2.7 vs. 6.7 +/-2.7, p < 0.022).

Conclusion. Early menopause and hysterectomy may be one of the factors contributing to the development of FM.

Notice about names

The Massachusetts CFIDS/ME & FM Association would like to clarify the use of the various acronyms for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), Chronic Fatigue & Immune Dysfunction Syndrome (CFIDS) and  Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME) on this site. When we generate our own articles on the illness, we will refer to it as ME/CFS, the term now generally used in the United States. When we are reporting on someone else’s report, we will use the term they use. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) are currently using ME/CFS. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are calling the illness CFS.

Until there is consensus on a name for the illness, the Massachusetts CFIDS/ME & FM Association name will not change.