OBJECTIVE: This study intended to determine associations between alterations of female sexual arousal as well as vaginal lubrication and the site of cerebral multiple sclerosis (MS) lesions.
In 44 women with MS (mean age 36.5±9.9 years), we assessed their medical history and evaluated sexual function using the Female Sexual Function Index scores for arousal and vaginal lubrication. We determined potential confounding factors of sexual dysfunction: age, disease duration, physical disability, depression, bladder or urinary dysfunction, and total volume of cerebral lesions. Arousal and lubrication scores were correlated with each other and with potential confounding factors. Cerebral MS lesions were recorded on imaging scans.
INTERPRETATION: Our data indicate that impaired female sexual arousal is associated with MS lesions in the occipital region integrating visual information and modulating attention towards visual input. Impaired lubrication correlated with lesions in the left insular region contributing to mapping and generating visceral arousal states