Sexual dysfunction is a common symptom of multiple sclerosis (MS) that often goes unreported by both the patient and the clinician. Sexual dysfunction can affect a person’s mood, relationships, daily functioning, and quality of life. Gaining a better understanding of the prevalence and nature of sexual dysfunction in individuals with MS would not only help identify patients with this problem but also determine contributing factors, which can inform treatment alternatives available to the patient.
Patients with a diagnosis of MS (n = 162) completed the Multiple Sclerosis Intimacy and Sexuality Questionnaire-19 during their neurology appointments at the Mellen Center for Multiple Sclerosis at Cleveland Clinic. These data were merged with Knowledge Program data collected as part of standard practice and included measures of mood, disability, and quality of life.
Sexual dysfunction was present in 64.2% of the clinic sample. Patients with sexual dysfunction had significantly worse average MS-related disability and depressive symptom scores.
Sexual dysfunction is highly prevalent in the MS clinic sample. Assessment and treatment of depression may serve as a starting point for intervention in patients with MS who experience sexual dysfunction. Identifying individuals who are at risk for sexual dysfunction concerns may help with clinician and patient burden in terms of routine assessment of this symptom.
Source: International Journal of MS Care, 20(4), 191-197.
Author: Domingo, S., Kinzy, T., Thompson, N., Gales, S., Stone, L., & Sullivan, A. (2018).https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6107343/