Female sexual dysfunction

Are you a woman MSer with sexual dysfunction and being ignored? This post is for you. #MSBlog #MSResearch

Lew-Starowicz & Rola. Prevalence of Sexual Dysfunctions Among Women with Multiple Sclerosis. Sex Disabil. 2013 Jun;31(2):141-153.

Background: Sexual concerns are known to be common in women MSers but definite data on the prevalence of particular sexual dysfunctions (SD) remain unclear. Previous studies brought inconsistent findings and rely on small groups of MSers or use of unvalidated assessment methods. 

Objective: The aim of this research was to evaluate the prevalence of SD in women with MS using validated clinimetric scales. 

Methods: 137 female inpatient MSers were interviewed, completed The Female Sexual Function Questionnaire SFQ28 and underwent neurological assessment. 

Results: Only 2.2 % of MSers had ever discussed their sexual concerns with a physician. 70.1 % reported sexual activity. At least one SD could be found in 82.5 % of MSers, hypoactive sexual desire (57.7 %), arousal dysfunction (decreased genital sensation in 47.3 %, decreased lubrication in 48.4 %, decreased subjective arousal in 45.2 %) and orgasmic dysfunction (39.8 %) being the most probable. SD were less likely in women who assessed their relationship positively but more common in older MSers and those who had a positive history of depression. The prevalence of SD was higher comparing to the majority of studies by other authors. 

Conclusions: SD are very common in female MSers and is frequently overlooked by medical professionals. Therefore, the assessment of sexual function should be implemented in all MSers after the diagnosis of MS. Further research is needed for better understanding of the sexuality of this particular population in order to establish targets for therapeutic intervention.

“Female sexual dysfunction is much commoner than I realised. It appears this problem is being ignored. What can be done about it? If you want to complete the index you can click on the links below and the appendix on how to score the index. I note the index is copyrighted therefore I am reluctant to set-up a survey on the blog to see if we can replicate the study’s findings. Can I assume this post will generate a lot of debate?”

“I will need to discuss this with the team and see what can be done about this issue.”

About the author

Prof G

Professor of Neurology, Barts & The London. MS & Preventive Neurology thinker, blogger, runner, vegetable gardener, husband, father, cook and wine & food lover.

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