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NeuroRehabilitation. 2017;41(2):317-329. doi: 10.3233/NRE-172200.

Multiple sclerosis and sexual dysfunction: A need for further education and interdisciplinary care.

Author information

1
Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA.
2
Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation, West Orange, NJ, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune condition affecting young women and men, resulting in varied disabilities, including sexual dysfunction.

OBJECTIVE:

This narrative review aims to describe the prevalence, pathophysiology, and impact of sexual dysfunction in people with MS (PwMS); provide a review of current assessment and treatment strategies; and offer considerations for future care.

METHODS:

Literature review was performed to identify primary and secondary sources discussing sexual dysfunction in PwMS.

RESULTS:

Sexual dysfunction is common in PwMS and can occur throughout the disease course. Sexual dysfunction is associated with depression, reduced quality of life, and may have broader implications related to relationships, fertility, pregnancy, and parenting. The etiology is often multifactorial and can be classified as primary, secondary, or tertiary dysfunction. Sexual dysfunction in PwMS is underdiagnosed and undertreated; however, many healthcare providers may already have the skills required to care for PwMS with sexual dysfunction.

CONCLUSIONS:

Additional education for providers regarding the approach to assessment and management of sexual dysfunction, their potential role in treatment, and available specialized resources is needed. The role of interdisciplinary care with collaboration among providers should be considered. Further research should evaluate the impact of specific assessment tools and treatments on sexual dysfunction in PwMS.

KEYWORDS:

Multiple sclerosis; interdisciplinary; neurosexuality; quality of life; sexual dysfunction; sexual function

PMID:
29036844
DOI:
10.3233/NRE-172200
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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