Multiple Sclerosis presents varying symptoms in individuals but mostly causes reduced libido, reduced sexual pleasure, and reduced sexual function. These can destroy a relationship if one of the individuals presents these symptoms and the other is less understanding.
But one can still maintain a healthy relationship even with MS. Shaun shows us that it starts with realizing these symptoms are there, and being ready to do something about it. Speaking with a physician and understanding how MS affects sexual health can help improve your love life.
Effects of MS on Love, Relationships & Sexual Health
Multiple sclerosis can affect your sexual health in a number of ways. MS can affect you directly, indirectly, and emotionally.
When MS leads to damage of the nerves that control sexual function, your love life will be significantly affected. This can lead to undesirable symptoms in both men and women . For the man, the direct effect can present itself in the form of inability to achieve an erection. It could also lead to difficulty in ejaculation. For the woman, achieving lubrication and orgasm can be a very difficult task. In some cases, MS causes hypersensitivity. Whichever the case, love-making will certainly not be the same for you as it is for others.
Other symptoms of multiple sclerosis can have a dampening effect on the libido of individuals with the disease. When an individual with MS has chronic fatigue or odd sensations (such as pain or tingling), he or she will have little or no sexual desire. An individual with MS may also be overwhelmed by the symptoms and may not want to talk about it. Such an individual can decide to abstain from sex as a result.
MS attacks the emotions of individuals with the disease sometimes leading to them feeling inferior or abstaining from normal activities in order not to be ridiculed. MS can make an individual abstain from sex in order to prevent any form of ridicule from the partner. The individual may start to feel little about himself and find it hard to seek help.
Maintaining a Healthy Love Life
Just like Shaun told us, the first step to taking back control of your love life is by realizing you need help and going out to seek appropriate help. MS varies in individuals and what works for your friend may not work for you. Talk to a physician and discuss available options .
Most times, you will find that a good love-making session can be triggered and enhanced by careful planning. When you take your medications around the period, you can also increase the chances of success.
You and your partner should discuss your options with your physician. You can take part in couples therapy geared at improving love-making, make use of lubricants, and also use medications that assist in sustaining an erection.
As an individual with MS, you should join an MS support group or community where you get to learn what worked for others. MS communities like Shift MS provides a platform for individuals with MS to connect with each other, share their stories, and receive help online.
It is normal to find it hard talking about your sexual problem. But your doctor has most likely handled many cases like yours and will be comfortable discussing it with you. You only need to overcome the difficulty, take the right steps and regain control of your sexual health.
If your partner has MS, the best you can do – if you want to save your relationship – is to show understanding and love. With MS, there are good days and there are bad days. If you put in the appropriate effort with your partner, you can reduce the bad days to an insignificant minimum. Multiple sclerosis should not deny you the right to receive and give love and pleasure.