Sexual Function for MS, Other Patients with Neurological Disorders Can Improve with Help

Sexual Function for MS, Other Patients with Neurological Disorders Can Improve with Help

Sexual dysfunction is common for patients affected by neurological disorders, but it does not signal the end of a satisfying sex life and intimate lovemaking.

Appropriate measures can help patients overcome sexual dysfunction associated with disease. Scientists from around the world discussed the topic at the recent Congress of the European Academy of Neurology (EAN) in Copenhagen.

“Erectile dysfunction in men and orgasm dysfunction in women are the most frequent sexual consequences of neurological deficits,” said David Vodušek, a professor at the University of Ljubljana, Slovenia, according to a press release. “There are ways of helping affected individuals, provided (that) neurologists actively address possible problems with the patient’s intimate private life.”

Neurological disorders can severely impact patients’ sexuality, leading to a diverse range of problems including loss of desire, erection issues, and infertility – but too often the issue of sexual dysfunction is given too little attention. Vodušek said patients can be helped if neurologists and patients actively address the problems in a patient’s intimate private life just as they address other mobility and function issues.

 

In patients with serious neurological disorders, lesions to the frontal and temporal lobes may cause sexual dysfunction, leading both men and women affected to experience very weak sexual desire. Epileptic patients often experience decreased sexual arousability, and male patients with Parkinson’s report erectile dysfunction and problems with orgasm and ejaculation. Multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease are other neurological diseases associated with similar sexual issues.

“The dedicated neurologist can treat typical and simple sexual problems in his patient and reserve urological consultation for the more complex issues and for dysfunctions that prove refractory,” Vodušek said.

Vodušek stressed that a sexual consultation is a must within the context of side effects and quality of life – and the patient’s partner should be included in the consultations.

Many products exist to counter sexual dysfunction. Lubricants help against vaginal dryness and oral drugs help to counter erectile dysfunction – especially those based on cGMP phosphodiesterase type 5 inhibitors. If oral therapy fails, an injection in the penis could be helpful. Patients with Parkinson’s can benefit from dopamine treatment to help normalize sexual desire.

“Compassionate, respectful consultations that consider the patient holistically instead of focusing on individual body parts are among the best means of getting a sexual problem under control. They do much to sensitize the patients about certain phenomena that might occur in the course of the disease. If certain dysfunctions do end up actually occurring, the patient will have any easier time addressing them,” Vodušek said.

4 comments

  1. Lauren says:

    Get me out of.this wheelchair. Stop this disease already, it took my life but the more I read here,secondary progressive ms can be slowed. I must stand again. Please help me stand. Will tai chi help my muscles regrow? SOMETHING must be done. Please help me get a bit of my life back.

    • Greg S says:

      Hi Lauren, I can empathize with you. 1 year ago I too was stuck in a wheelchair. About a year and a half ago I had the worst relapse I’ve ever had. Started with I couldn’t see straight, losing my balance, constantly falling. Went from a cane to a walker to a wheelchair. There was a time I couldn’t stand let alone take a step.
      It’s all about positivity. I truly believe keeping a positive attitude is second to none. It’s hard at times, very hard; but for myself the last person I wanted to be is the one that mopes around crying woe is me. Again, there are plenty of times when it’s Hard and becoming that person is the easy way out. Hard work, perseverance, and positivity got me through it. Currently I am out of the wheelchair. I can’t run, or even jog, or walk swiftly for that matter. I know I walk funny. Not a day goes by that at least 1 person assumes I’m drunk. That’s just who verbalizes it, I get strange looks daily. I don’t get upset though, they don’t know. I take those looks & assumptions as a reminder that I once was in a wheelchair, there was a time that I couldn’t stand, dress myself, brush my teeth, shave, all things that people take for granted. I can’t say I’m back to 100%, far from it. But from where I was a year ago ’till now gives me satisfaction that being positive about this fuckhole of a disease coupled with hard work & perseverance, I survived a hell of a ride. (Sorry for the language) Well, I never intended this to be as long as it was. Just stay positive. I know the easiest thing to do is get down, it’s natural. My favorite saying that got me thru a lot :: “Life ain’t picture perfect, use the negatives to develop”

      If you’re able to see my email keep me posted on how you’re doing…!
      ~Greg

  2. L. Stewart says:

    I have grab bars all over the house, every few feet to be exact. Large shed handles work the best as your hand can not slide as on regular bars. Then I go like a monkey around the house and keep a wheelchair out of here. If you go down, remember someone lifts you up from behind, each forearm under an armpit. that way no one gets hurt.

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