How Does Multiple Sclerosis Impact Sexual Function?

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Sexual function is also impacted in MS and can be impacted early on in MS. Traditionally, most male patients with multiple sclerosis will complain about it first, because it manifests as erectile dysfunctions, so they come and say look I'm no longer able to have erections. The sad thing is most female patients don't talk about it because for women it usually presents as inability to have an orgasm, and so there is this embarrassment that they think it's somehow psychological that maybe I'm sick and maybe I just don't find myself to be as desirable that that's why it's happening, and it's very much bio-chemical. So you typically will havemore my patients talk about it, and most of my female patients, I really had to bring it up, and say look, how is everything going in terms of your relationships? Do you feel like you're able to have orgasms, and their are often times so relieved to find out that it's actually is associated with the Ms and not just somethingthey are going through psychologically. There's for men with erectile dysfunctions it's a little bit easier, simply because they have been the target for pharmaceutical companies in terms of pills to help with erectile dysfunction. For women the challenge in having orgasms is much more complex because it's not something that we have indications for first of all, and it's usually related to multiple things.

So the remedy for that is often, bringing the spouse in, bringing the partner in and saying, look, this might take a little bit longer, this may require more stimulation, or a little bit more patience, or they may have to use something like a vibrator, bringing in things to help greater stimulation, but that doesn't mean that this is impossible.

It's going to require a little more creativity, a little more time, but often times that brings couples closer.