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Sexual Dysfunction in Women with Newly Diagnosed Multiple Sclerosis

Posted Nov 30 2008 12:20pm
The Women's Sexual Health Foundation has found that women with Multiple Sclerosis often have questions about sexual function and intimacy, and yet this is an area that is rarely addressed with them. The following research article will help these women feel validated, and hopefully assist them in discussing their concerns with their health care provider.

Monday, 03 September 2007

Presented Monday, 03 September 2007 at the 29th Congress of the Societe International d'Urologie - SIU 2007 - Optimizing Clinical Outcomes in Prostate and Renal Cell Carcinomas - The Second Annual Symposium on Advanced GU Malignancy - Palais des Congres de Paris, France

Introduction: The aim of the study was to evaluate female sexuality in a selective population of newly diagnosed Multiple Sclerosis (MS) women’s and to compare these findings with those from a control group of healthy female volunteers.

Methods: In this clinic-based study, 63 newly diagnosed consecutive women affected by definite MS were admitted. Disability and psychological functioning were evaluated with the Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) and Beck’s Depression Inventory (BDI) respectively. Sexual function was evaluated with the Female Sexual Function Index (FSFI). MS patients were matched and compared with a group of 61 female healthy volunteers with the same baseline characteristics.

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 (SD) was diagnosed in 41 (65.1%) out of the 63 patients and in 9 (14.7 %) out of the 61 health females. Orgasm and Lubrication problems were higher in the MS patients but with no significantly difference (p <0.08).

Conclusions: Sexual dysfunction is a highly prevalent condition in MS patients. The age at onset of the disease and other concomitant disorders may have a great impact on SD.

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