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Timothy L. Vollmer, MD
Department of Neurology
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Medical Director-Rocky Mountain MS Center
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Multiple Sclerosis Institute
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Weill Medical College of Cornell University

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Timothy L. Vollmer M.D.
Department of Neurology
University of Colorado Health Sciences Center
Co-Director of the RMMSC at Anschutz Medical Center
Medical Director-Rocky Mountain MS Center

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Let’s talk about SEX and MS

According to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society:
Sexual problems are often experienced by people with MS, but they are very common in the general population as well. Sexual arousal begins in the central nervous system, as the brain sends messages to the sexual organs along nerves running through the spinal cord. If MS damages these nerve pathways, sexual response — including arousal and orgasm — can be directly affected. Sexual problems also stem from MS symptoms such as fatigue or spasticity, as well as from psychological factors relating to self-esteem and mood changes.

In a recent study, 63 percent of people with MS reported that their sexual activity had declined since their diagnosis. Other surveys of persons with MS suggest that as many as 91  of men and 72 percent of women may be affected by sexual problems. Ignoring these problems can lead to major losses in quality of life. Yet both individuals and healthcare professionals are often slow to bring up the subject.

Treating sexual problems

Both men and women with MS may experience difficulty achieving orgasm or loss of libido.

Men may additionally have difficulty achieving or maintaining an erection (by far the most common problem), reduced sensation in the penis and difficulty achieving ejaculation. Erectile dysfunction may be addressed through:
Use of the oral medications Viagra® (sildenafil), Levitra® (vardenafil) or Cialis® (tadalafil).
Injectable medications such as papaverine and phentolamine that increase blood flow in the penis
The MUSE® system which involves inserting a small suppository into the penis.
Inflatable devices or implants.

Women may experience:
reduced sensation in the vaginal/clitoral area or
painfully heightened sensation, and
vaginal dryness. Vaginal dryness can be relieved by using liquid or jellied, water-soluble personal lubricants which can be purchased over-the-counter. It is a common mistake to use too little of these products; specialists advise using them generously. Petroleum jelly (Vaseline®) should not be used because it is not water-soluble and may cause infection.

Now let’s be real here doesn’t that describe half of the human population over the age of 50? Plus the medicine that is available is the medicine we hear about for everyone. I don’t know about you, but that’s not really what my issue is.  I also can’t answer for a guy with erectile dysfunction because I’m a woman.  I can tell you I feel basically nothing in the “nether regions” hence my problem. Hard to get aroused with NO feeling.  It isn’t lubricant issues because ironically they still work when things get going.  the arousal is more mental  stimulus.   I have from past experience learned that I still get aroused, or so my partner has informed me, even though I myself have no feeling it’s happening. All this makes for a super fun dating life. Good thing I learned to fake an orgasm a long time ago.  I’m telling you guys your Ego in this department is off the charts.  Btw I hope this doesn’t sync to my plenty of fish or profile because I’m single again… said this 

First, MS directly affects your sexual organs or sexual response, usually because of its impact on key nerves, explains Nicholas LaRocca, PhD, vice president of health care delivery and policy research at the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. MS affects the central nervous system and, therefore, your sexual response and function. For men, this can mean difficulty having or maintaining an erection (the most common sexual problem related to MS). For women, they may not create enough vaginal lubrication. You may experience hypersensitivity or reduced sensitivity and may have trouble achieving orgasm even if you desire sex.

There also are secondary reasons for problems related to sexual desire, such as MS-related fatigue and depression. You may experience odd sensations that may feel like pins and needles. Or you might have tingling, pain, or spasticity in your muscles. Some MS symptoms may be so personal that you may have a difficult time telling your partner about them and decide to simply avoid sex instead. “Bladder and bowel control problems can present some fairly significant challenges,” Dr. LaRocca says. “Those kinds of symptoms are not directly related to sexual machinery, but can interfere with interest and ability to participate in sex.”

Story Source: The above story is based on materials provided by MULTIPLEEXPERIENCES
Note: Materials may be edited for content and length


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