MS and Your Sex Life

Hide Video Transcript

Video Transcript

KATHY COSTELLO: A common issue in multiple sclerosis is problems with sexual function. Unfortunately, about 70% of people who were surveyed have some sexual dysfunction. This happens to both men and women. It's important to note this is not a problem without solution. The most important thing in sexual problems in multiple sclerosis is talk, talk, talk. Talk to your provider, talk to your partner.

We have to know what's going on in order to deal with the problem. Some of the problems are-- a decreased desire or decreased libido, there can be a decreased ability to reach an orgasm, and a decreased intensity of orgasm. There can be diminished sensation. There's problems with vaginal dryness. For men, there can be problems with attaining and maintaining an erection. There can be problems with ejaculation.

People can have tremendous fatigue with multiple sclerosis. That can make sexual function difficult. Each of these problems though can be managed. For sensation, sometimes you need to increase the amount of sensation. Things such as vibrators, application of cold to the peroneal area can sometimes be very useful in increasing physical stimulation. Dryness can be taken care of with lubricants, water soluble, use lots of it. For erectile dysfunction, about 50% of men will respond to the erectile dysfunction drugs that are out there.

What I find that works for people is also creativity and a willingness to try new things. For instance, if traditional positioning isn't useful, trying something else. If certain areas that were arousal areas for someone on your skin are no longer areas of arousal, try other things. People with MS who continue to have good sex lives get there because they're willing to talk and try and find different things to do. Those are the people that are really successful.