Living with Parkinson’s disease (PD) isn’t easy because managing its symptoms can be challenging. Unfortunately, low libido is one of them. That means anyone with PD will have diminished sexual interest. And it can even lead to erectile dysfunction (ED).
For context, around 60,000 Americans are diagnosed with PD every year. There are 10 million people worldwide that suffer from PD.
However, there is reason to hope. Those armed with the right information can overcome sexual dysfunction caused by Parkinson’s disease.
In today’s post, you’ll learn everything there is to know about the correlation between pelvic organ dysfunction and Parkinson’s disease. There are even tips on how you can manage your condition to mitigate sexual problems.
Let’s get started.
How Does Parkinson’s Disease Affect Sexual Function?
To get to the answer, you must first understand what Parkinson’s disease does to the body. Parkinson’s disease lowers the body’s dopamine-producing cells. And because dopamine helps with controlling the body’s movement, it affects sexual health.
Muscles will become less capable of getting rigid. And with time, PD causes people to lose their sexual desire. Male patients with PD often deal with erectile dysfunction on top of it. Some report problems with ejaculation.
Women will report sexual difficulties such as vaginal dryness and urinary incontinence in the middle of sexual activity.
Parkinson’s Disease and Depression
One sad fact about Parkinson’s is that having it can lead to crippling depression. And that will absolutely have an impact on one’s sexual function.
50% of PD patients may experience depression.
This is worth pointing out because erectile dysfunction is a symptom of both. You can have ED because of Parkinson’s or due to depression. Knowing what’s triggering your decreased libido and ED could be the answer to having a healthy sex life.
PD patients need to seek help from healthcare professionals to get the proper drug therapy, especially if depression is the primary concern.
But keep in mind that there are antidepressants that list ED as a side effect. So if your doctor says you have to take antidepressant medication, ask if it will cause ED. Let them know that you want to stay sexually active.
Individuals who suffer from Parkinson’s and ED should also be aware that they may also be prone to anger. They could lash out at their partners if symptoms don’t improve over time, which will likely negatively affect their sex drive even more.
How to Deal with Parkinson’s Disease and Low Libido
How can someone with PD handle erectile dysfunction? Here are a couple of ways people with this awful neurological disease can continue having sexual intercourse.
- Talk to Your Partner: Your partner needs to understand what’s going on with your body. This is especially true for young patients. It’s important that everyone involved be able to manage their expectations. If you’re comfortable with the idea, have your partner sit down with you and your doctor. This will give your partner a chance to get first-hand information about how Parkinson’s will affect both of your sex life.
- Get Moving: One of Parkinson’s symptoms is fatigue. This means men with the disease will get tired faster while running errands or having sex. You need to counteract that. Get fit by doing regular exercise and getting plenty of sleep.
- Create a Schedule: Some medications will work against your desire to have sex. So you’ll have to talk to your partner and create a schedule to maximize the days or hours when your meds are unlikely to interfere.
- Stay Mentally Fit: People with Parkinson’s tend to become depressed patients. And it becomes worse when penile erection issues start popping up. If you’re starting to feel sad, talk to someone. There’s no shame in seeking professional help.
- Stick to the Changes: It’s so easy to get discouraged by Parkinson’s sexual effects, especially for those who are just starting to deal with them. But it’s important to keep at it. Never give up. Sexual issues like erectile dysfunction and premature ejaculation can be resolved over time.
- Consult a Doctor: Your doctor will know how to diagnose and provide medical guidance for PD and ED. Medical professionals and local ED specialists will be able to identify which treatment options will work best for you.
ED Treatments for PD Patients
Doctors can recommend several ED treatments to help their patients gain healthy control over their sex lives. Below are several popular options, most notably excluding ED pills due to potentially severe side effects.
Erectile Dysfunction Injectables
These ED treatments are administered by injecting medication through a syringe. You’ll want to do this around the midpoint of the penis for maximum effect. Injectables are popular because they work really fast. You only need to wait for 5 to 15 minutes before it starts working.
However, this will require you to inject yourself to get an erection — which is not something everyone is comfortable doing.
Popular medications include:
- Alprostadil (Caverject)
- Papaverine HCI (Papaverine vials)
- Phentolamine (Regitine vials)
Also referred to as shockwave therapy or acoustic wave therapy, RestoreWave therapy uses low-intensity acoustic waves to trigger a process called neovascularization in the penis.
This process allows new blood vessels to form naturally in order to improve blood flow to the erect penis and support increased firmness and spontaneous erections.
Contact a medical professional specializing in RestoreWave therapy to learn more about how this treatment option may support your unique ED symptoms.
A penis pump creates a vacuum around your penis to create suction. This suction helps increase blood pressure in the penis to give users an erection. Once the user successfully gets an erection, a constriction ring—also known as a cock ring—is inserted at the base of the penis to maintain the erection.
One of the advantages of using penis pumps is that they’re readily available. And they’re not intimidating to buy since even people without ED use them as sex toys.
If your ED is caused by low testosterone, then your doctor might recommend testosterone therapy. This procedure will bring your testosterone to normal levels which will hopefully improve your libido.
It also helps with fatigue and depression — two symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.
Talk to your doctor to see if testosterone therapy is the right treatment for you.
Combat Sexual Dysfunction with Medical Guidance from Cincinnati’s Top Men’s Clinic
You can overcome sexual health conditions with various other methods and men’s sexual health treatmentsrecommended by health practitioners at Cincinnati’s Proactive Men’s Medical Center. This includes ED therapy, premature ejaculation therapy, RestoreWave therapy, testosterone treatment, and adrenal fatigue treatment.
Don’t miss out on any opportunities you can find to get the proper treatment and achieve a happy and fulfilling sex life. Give our team a call today to schedule your appointment.