Sex and MS

Lew-Starowicz M, Rola R. Correlates of Sexual Function in Male and Female Patients with Multiple Sclerosis. J Sex Med. 2014 Jun. doi: 10.1111/jsm.12622. [Epub ahead of print]INTRODUCTION: Many factors have been suggested to contribute to sexual dysfunction (SD) in multiple sclerosis (MS) patients, but the research on their impact on sexual functioning (SF) and sexual quality of life (SQoL) remains scant.
AIM:The aim of this study was to investigate correlates of SF and SQoL in MS patients, as well as possible gender differences.
METHODS:204 MS patients were interviewed, completed the questionnaires, and underwent neurological assessment.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE: Primary outcome measures included the International Index of Erectile Function, the Female Sexual Function Questionnaire, the Sexual Quality of Life Questionnaire, the Beck Depression Inventory, and the Expanded Disability Status Scale.
RESULTS: The course and duration of the disease did not predict patients’ SF. Negative correlations were found for brainstem symptoms with orgasmic function and overall satisfaction in men and between cognitive functioning and the partner domain in women. Interestingly, brainstem symptoms correlated positively with the arousal domain in women. More than half (52.1%) of patients fulfilled Beck Depression Inventory criteria for depression, and these patients showed more SD than nondepressive individuals. The strongest negative correlations with depressive symptoms were found for desire, erectile function, and overall satisfaction with sexual life in men and for orgasm and sexual enjoyment in women. Deterioration in particular domains of SF was clearly related with diminished SQoL. The main gender difference was a strong influence of decreased desire on SQoL in women and no such correlation in men. Negative assessment of the relationship with partner significantly affected all domains of SF and SQoL in MS women and the desire domain in MS men.

CONCLUSIONS:Several correlates of SF in MS patients were found. The role of brainstem symptoms needs further investigation. Clinicians should pay close attention to depressive symptoms and relationship factors in MS patients who suffer from SD. Lew-Starowicz M and Rola R. Correlates of sexual function in male and female patients with multiple sclerosis

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