Sexual dysfunction in men with multiple sclerosis--a comprehensive pilot-study into etiology

Int J Impot Res. 1998 Dec;10(4):233-7. doi: 10.1038/sj.ijir.3900366.


Ideally, the etiological diagnosis of sexual dysfunction in patients with multiple sclerosis is established on the basis of both objective and subjective tests. Accordingly, we assessed sexual function in 16 male patients with multiple sclerosis and complaints of sexual dysfunction by means of subjective data from interviews and questionnaires and objective data, obtained from (psycho)physiological tests. Psychophysiological investigation consisted of measurement of sleep erections and of erectile response to visual erotic stimulation and penile vibration. Urodynamic investigation was used to assess the neurological status of the genital tract. Sixteen male patients with clinically definite multiple sclerosis, complaints of sexual dysfunction and a steady heterosexual relationship participated in the study. The majority of patients had no abnormalities in the objective tests. Only one (1 out of 15) patient showed disturbed sleep-erections, and four (4 out of 12) other patients showed signs of neurological dysfunction of the genital tract.

Conclusion: In our patient-group, disturbed sleep erections and abnormal findings on urodynamic investigation appeared unrelated to the complaint of erectile dysfunction. Sexual function was related to psychological factors, decreased general sensitivity, and motor impairment.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Ejaculation
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multiple Sclerosis / complications*
  • Muscles / physiopathology
  • Orgasm
  • Pain
  • Penile Erection
  • Sexual Dysfunction, Physiological / etiology*
  • Sexual Dysfunction, Physiological / physiopathology
  • Sexual Dysfunction, Physiological / psychology
  • Urodynamics