Objectives: The aim of the study was to evaluate female sexuality in a selective population of newly diagnosed multiple sclerosis (MS) women.
Materials and methods: In this clinic-based study, 63 newly diagnosed consecutive women affected by definite MS were admitted. Disability and depression were evaluated with the expanded disability status scale (EDSS) and Beck depression inventory, respectively. Sexual function was evaluated with the female sexual function index (FSFI). A group of 61 healthy female volunteers with the same baseline characteristics were used as controls. Postmenopausal women and patients with other major concomitant neurological, endocrinological, vascular, gynecological, psychiatric disorders, use of medicines that can cause female sexual dysfunction (FSD) and disease-modifying drugs were excluded from the study.
Results: All the evaluated patients were ambulant with no major neurological impairment (mean EDSS score 2.5, range 0-3.5). None of the patients were considered clinically depressed, but some of them were sad or worried. According to the sexual history and FSFI scores, sexual dysfunction was diagnosed in 22 (34.9%) out of the 63 patients and in 13 (21.31%) out of the 61 healthy females (P > 0.05).
Conclusions: In the newly diagnosed MS patients, FSD represent an important issue even though disability and other concomitant disorders affecting sexual function were excluded.