Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a neurological disorder that can have a profound impact on many aspects of a man’s life, including sexuality and fertility.
This disease disrupts the normal functioning of the central nervous system, causing the immune system to mistake the myelin sheath that surrounds nerve cells for a virus or intruder and attack it.
Sexual function is often associated with MS, as the disease can interfere with sexual arousal and erectile function. In addition, MS can also lead to fertility problems, as the disease can damage the nerves involved in ejaculation.
It should be stated that this neurological disease affects women at a disproportionately higher rate than men, with approximately two-thirds of MS patients being female.
Regardless, men who suffer from this disease also find it negatively impacting their quality of sex life.
Although these issues can be difficult to deal with, there are ways to manage them and improve sexual function.
Let’s learn more about this disease and the ways men with multiple sclerosis can increase their libido.
Signs and Symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis
Multiple sclerosis symptoms vary on a person-by-person basis. It’s also affected by the site of nerve fiber damage in the body.
Common symptoms include:
- Numbness on one or more limbs
- Decreased sensation or numbness in limbs
- Problems with balance and coordination
- Shocks and tremors
- Difficulty problem solving and learning
- Sexual dysfunction such as erectile dysfunction or decreased libido
- Vision problems such as blurred or double vision
The first signs of MS may go away for months or even years, only to come back suddenly at a later time. In certain circumstances, the condition remains and worsens as time goes on.
If you have these symptoms, it’s important to get checked by a doctor right away. This is so that you can avoid further complications in the future.
Sexual Symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
Men with multiple sclerosis have a significant chance of developing sexual dysfunctions in the future. The primary reason why this happens is because of the long-term physiological impairment that affects the brain and spinal cord, resulting in paresthesias that disrupt erectile and sexual function.
In one analysis, 63% of males with multiple sclerosis have experienced one or multiple forms of sexual dysfunction.
In another study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine that involved 67 male participants with MS, researchers documented the most common complaints in men with sexual dysfunction. The results were as follows:
- Erectile dysfunction (52.9%)
- Decreased sexual desire (26.8%)
- Difficulties in reaching orgasm (23.1%)
- Difficulties with ejaculation (17.9%)
According to a more recent BMC Neurology study, 40% of men with MS cited difficulty achieving an erection as one of their most common problems. Fatigue and depression are also closely tied with this disease.
There’s a lot of direct evidence that points to the association between erectile damage and multiple sclerosis. But besides that, there are profound secondary effects that can also diminish the quality of life of the male patient.
MS, for example, may knock a man’s self-esteem down and make him feel less sexually appealing. This may also cause psychological factors relating to mental illnesses, like anxiety and depression.
A hindered sexual performance may also lead to relationship issues, which can consequently lead to more sexual activity difficulties for the male patient.
Diagnosing Sexual Health Problems in Men with MS
The Multiple Sclerosis Intimacy and Sexuality Questionnaire 19 (MSISQ-19) can help men with multiple sclerosis (MS) identify problems they may be experiencing with sexual health and intimacy.
This questionnaire uses a 5-point Likert scale and asks questions about how often you have been bothered by a specific symptom of MS, the intensity of these symptoms, and the degree of embarrassment men may face when dealing with the disease. The responses should be linked to a 6-month timeframe as well.
Once a clinician has administered the MSISQ-19 and found the results to be positive for sexual dysfunction symptoms, they will then be able to diagnose sexual health problems and recommend appropriate treatments.
Treatment Plans to Improve Low Sex Drive Caused by MS
For many men with MS, talking to a doctor or urologist about sexual dysfunction can help them find the right treatment for their condition.
Fortunately, there are a variety of treatments available that can help improve sexual function. The most important thing is to identify the condition that’s causing you sexual problems, and address that root issue accordingly.
This means that if you’re suffering from low testosterone levels, testosterone replacement therapy may be the right treatment. If you’re struggling with erectile dysfunction, treatment options like injections and penile pumps can help get your member up and running again.
In general, here are some of the most effective treatments for sexual functioning in men with MS:
1. Treatments for Erectile Dysfunction
- Shockwave therapy
- Medications like Viagra and Cialis
- Penile implants
- Penile injections
- Topical gels and creams
- Lifestyle assessment and improvement
Read here to find a suitable erectile dysfunction treatment plan.
2. Treatments for Low Libido
- Sexual psychotherapy
- Counseling and support groups
- Removing bad habits
- Structured time for sex
- Changes in diet and exercise routine
- Lessen stress
- Open and honest communication with partner
- Testosterone replacement therapy
Read here to find a suitable libido-boosting treatment plan.
3. Treatments for Delayed Ejaculation
- Counseling and sex therapy
- Behavioral techniques
- Topical anesthetics
- Medications like antidepressants
- Edging and pelvic floor muscle exercises
Read here to find treatment for ejaculation problems.
4. Treatments for Low Testosterone
- Testosterone replacement therapy
- Lifestyle changes for improved health
- Hormone balancing supplements
Treatments like testosterone replacement therapy can help men with MS overcome their sexual dysfunction and improve their overall quality of life.
Be sure to consult with a doctor or urologist to find the best treatment for your condition.
Contact Cincinnati’s Leading Men’s Clinic for a Sexual Health Consultation
Living with MS can be a challenge, but it doesn’t have to severely hinder your sex life. There are plenty of treatment options available that can help men with MS overcome sexual dysfunction and experience satisfying sex once again.
If you’re struggling in this area, be sure to talk to your doctor or urologist today about recommended treatments for your condition.
The medical professionals at Proactive Men’s Medical Center in Cincinnati specialize in treating conditions that impact men’s health. Our concierge approach positions your unique case at the centerpoint of our focus. We don’t just give you a pill for ED and send you on your way. We treat the underlying issues that led to conditions such as erectile dysfunction, low testosterone, premature ejaculation, and more. Contact our office today to schedule an appointment.