Sex problems in MS

Background: Sexual dysfunction (SD) is a common complaint in female and male patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) and can arise at anytime during the course of the disease even in patients with low disability. Increasing neurological and physical impairment, psychological factors, and medication side effects are thought to increase rates of SD.
Objective:To determine the prevalence of various SD symptoms among MS patients, their impact on patient self-reported sexual activity and satisfaction (SAS), and to examine the rates at which symptomatic patients utilize therapies for their complaints.

Results from the Spring, 2006 North American Research Committee on Multiple Sclerosis (NARCOMS) Project were reviewed. Participants were asked to answer the Multiple Sclerosis Intimacy and Sexuality Questionaire-19 (MSISQ-19) and to indicate which symptomatic therapy they used to alleviate SD. Symptoms were grouped as severe (they impacted SAS always or almost always), moderate (occasionally), and mild (never or almost never). Primary end point was the prevalence of SD symptoms and their impact on patient SAS.

Of 17,883 surveys mailed, 9861 (55.1%) responses were returned. Of these, 6739 (68.3%) answered the questions on sexuality. Respondents were primarily female (76.7%), Caucasian (87.8%), with average age of 38.4 (±9.6), and time since diagnosis of 13.9 years (±9.3). 38.6% of male subjects and 34.8% of female subjects experienced at least 5 different types of severe symptoms. Also, 14.3% of males and 12.9% of females complained of at least 10 severe symptoms that affected their SAS. The most common severe symptoms were shared by both sexes: too long to achieve orgasm/climax (37.8%), inadequate lubrication/difficult erection (36.5%), less intense or pleasure with orgasm/climax (35.2%), lack of interest or desire (32.1%), problems moving the body (29.1%), less feeling or numbness in genitals (28.8%), feeling less confident (25.5%), and body less attractive (24.8%). The severe symptoms positively correlated with time since diagnosis, Patient Determined Disease Steps Score, bladder disability score, and spasticity score. Few patients with at least one severe symptom used therapies to improve their SD (vibrators 19.1%, phosphodiesterase-5 enzyme inhibitors 14.2%, other medications 0.6%, counseling 4.1%, penile device 1.0%, intracorporeal therapy 0.7%, sex surgery 0.5%, and clitoral device 0.3%).

Conclusion SD in patients with MS is multifactorial and very similar in men and women. Despite increasing therapeutic options, many patients with MS do not seek treatment for their SD complaints. It is very important for the physicians caring for patients with MS to initiate discussion of potential SD to allow earlier diagnosis and treatment.

 Its a problem for both men and women

As it says there are many therapeutic options so do not be silent make sure you speak to your nurse or neuro etc. As you can see you may be not alone in your problem. Its good to talk.

About the author


Add comment

By MouseDoctor



Recent Posts

Recent Comments