Research: female sex and MS

EpubFirdolas F, Ozan T, Onur R, Bulut S, Orhan I. Evaluation of sexual function in women at two stages of multiple sclerosis.World J Urol. 2012 Jun 6.

PURPOSE: In the present study, the investigators aimed to evaluate the sexual function in Msers who were examined in two subgroups and compare the results to the control group with a validated questionnaire.

METHODS: A total of 23 consecutive female MSers divided into groups with relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS) and secondary progressive MS (SPMS) and 45 healthy control subjects were included into the study. The inclusion criteria were as follows: Definite MS, age between 18 and 60 years and an Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) score of <8. The neurologic impairment, the disability and the independence of the MSer, and cognitive performances were measured, and also the effect of MS is evaluated by EDSS.

RESULTS: No statistically significant difference was found between two groups. The female sexual function index (FSFI) scores in both groups were significantly lower than the control group. Domain scores for desire, arousal, orgasm, pain, lubrication and satisfaction measured between RRMS and SPMS patients showed no significant difference. Comparing each domain score for arousal, orgasm and satisfaction revealed significantly lower scores in RRMSers and SPMSers compared to control group.

CONCLUSIONS: This study detected statistically significant decrease in FSFI scores in two groups of MSers compared to healthy controls. The study could not define a difference in sexual function in different stages of MS in women and a statistically significant negative correlation (the higher the EDSS the lower the FSFI) between EDSS and FSFI scores in the two subgroups of MS

This study is not telling us any thing that you don’t already know, that women as well as men have a tougher sex life. As ever if you are having problems discuss it with your neuro and/or MS nurse.

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  • Hello MouseDoc

    I've got a serious question:

    I often wondered if having sex at all is detrimental to MS because of the heat generated and the, well, "exhaustion"? The fear of a relapse is definately a big turn-off…….


  • Not for me to answer…this is G's domain

    but if you give up the pleasures of life, it seems like a lifetime

  • Re: "I often wondered if having sex at all is detrimental to MS because of the heat generated and the, well, "exhaustion"? The fear of a relapse is definately a big turn-off… "

    We don't have an answer to this! There is a report from the 80's suggesting that the following the hot bath test that neurological deficits can persist:

    Berger JR, Sheremata WA. Persistent neurological deficit precipitated by hot bath test in multiple sclerosis. JAMA. 1983 Apr 1;249(13):1751-3.

    This has not be reproduced and has been contested by others.

    Sex can be classified as a form or exercise and our advice on exercise is that it should be done in moderation and one should avoid exercising an involved neurological pathway during an acute relapse.

    As this is an evidence-free zone, and obviously very important for MSers, it should be studied in the lab.

  • "it should be studied in the lab" !

    we are talking about sex right?

    I would love to be part of this study 🙂

  • Thx. I think it should be assessed in more detail because it is a big issue since the disease hits us in our sexual prime. Fear of relaps definately spoils the enjoyment hugely.

  • I am not so sure that anything we are talking about would affect relapse biologically… I would not be so concerned about this.

    It is all about progression

    It is not

  • Thank God for this blog!!! I was too embarassed to talk to my neuro about this. He's a nice guy, my neuro, but quite clueless anyway.

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