Story by: Sara Thompson on December 19, 2022
Multiple sclerosis (MS) affects almost 1 million Americans, according to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. Since MS affects your muscles and muscle control, sometimes the muscles of the bladder and sex organs are affected. There are treatments that can help incontinence and sexual issues in MS patients.
MS prevents the brain and muscles from communicating normally. The muscles of the human urinary tract can be affected by MS, resulting in incontinence (inability to hold urine), difficulty fully emptying the bladder and frequent need or urgency to urinate.
There are some medications available for some bladder issues. There are also many lifestyle interventions and techniques you can try:
Sexual dysfunction comes from a variety of sources. Neurological issues include erectile dysfunction, decreased libido, difficulty reaching orgasm and premature/delayed ejaculation. MS symptoms can affect a patient with fatigue, muscle spasms, and bladder/bowel control issues. Another kind of sexual dysfunction deals with body image and one’s perceptions of one’s body, as well as changes in one’s roles between partners.
The Norton Neuroscience Institute Resource Center offers support for patients living with MS, including classes and programs to help with MS symptoms, disability counseling and a designated nurse navigator to assist with your journey.
Depending on the source of the dysfunction, there are many ways to address sexual issues in MS patients, including:
The most important step to take is talking to your doctor.
For sexual dysfunction, you could answer this questionnaire and give it to your doctor as a starting point for a conversation.
Select an appointment date and time from available spots listed below.