Multiple Sclerosis leads to ED

Multiple Sclerosis leads to ED

What is Multiple Sclerosis or MS ?

A disease in which the immune system eats away at the protective covering of nerves.

In MS, resulting nerve damage disrupts communication between the brain and the body.

Multiple sclerosis causes many different symptoms, including vision loss, pain, fatigue and impaired coordination. The symptoms, severity and duration can vary from person to person. Some people may be symptom free for most of their lives, while others can have severe, chronic symptoms that never go away.

Physiotherapy and medication that suppress the immune system can help with symptoms, and slow disease progression.

What is Erectile Dysfunction or ED ?

Occurs when a man can’t get or keep an erection firm enough for sexual intercourse.

Erectile dysfunction can be a sign of a physical or psychological condition. It can cause stress, relationship strain and low self-confidence.

The main symptom is a man’s inability to get or keep an erection firm enough for sexual intercourse.

Patients suffering from erectile dysfunction should first be evaluated for any underlying physical and psychological conditions. If treatment of the underlying conditions doesn’t help, medication and assistive devices, such as Vacuum pumps, can be prescribed.

Symptoms of ED

Usually self-diagnosable

The main symptom is a man’s inability to get or keep an erection firm enough for sexual intercourse.

People may experience:

Sexual: sexual dysfunction or reduced sex drive

Also common: soft erections, trouble getting an erection, trouble maintaining an erection, or anxiety.

Treatment of ED

Treatment varies

Patients suffering from erectile dysfunction should first be evaluated for any underlying physical and psychological conditions. If treatment of the underlying conditions doesn’t help, medication and assistive devices, such as Vacuum pumps, can be prescribed.

How Multiple sclerosis leads to ED ?

Erections occur when signals from the brain cause the muscles of the penis to relax, allowing blood to flow into two chambers on the underside of the penis. The increased blood supply causes the penis to swell and become rigid.

Erections happen in response to either sexual arousal or the physical stimulation of the penis. These are important distinctions as they involve two different neurophysiological mechanisms:

Erections that occur in response to erotic thoughts, touch, or visual cues are processed by the brain and travel down the spinal cord to trigger an erection.

Erections that happen as a result of genital stimulation use nerves in the lower part of the spinal cord and basically bypass the brain.

Why is this important? In MS, nerve damage is caused by a process called demyelination wherein the immune system attacks and strips away the insulating membrane surrounding a nerve called the myelin sheath. When this happens, the lines of communication between nerves can be severely affected.

Depending on where the demyelination occurs, the cause and symptoms of ED can vary. Some men, for example, may be able to achieve an erection in response to physical but not erotic stimulation, or vice versa. This seems especially true for younger men with MS who have no other known contributing factors to ED.

In other cases, the impairment may be more pronounced. In such case, MS may either be the primary cause or simply a secondary factor compounding an existing problem.

Diagnosis in Men With MS

Erection problems can be disheartening for men and ones that can be difficult to discuss even with a spouse or doctor.

But it’s important to remember that ED in men with MS goes well beyond getting a prescription for Viagra or Cialis. Investigations should include a review of your MS-related symptoms, your current treatment, and any psychological difficulties you may be experiencing in association with your disease. Among the factors to consider:

If there is reduced sensation of the penis or difficulty in achieving ejaculation (both of which may inform how MS is affecting erectile function)

If you are experiencing urinary leakage during intercourse

If there are psychological factors related to mood or self-esteem that need to be addressed separately to the physiological symptoms

If MS symptoms such as fatigue or spasticity may be contributing

If antidepressant use, common in ED, is causing or contributing to ED

If anticholinergics, used to treat ​urinary problems, may also be a problem .

Treatment Options

By reviewing all of these factors, doctors may offer MS-specific treatment that can either supplement or be used in place standard ED medications.

These may include instructions on alternative forms of stimulation, such as vibrators, to overcome impaired arousal. Abnormal sensations or spasm may be controlled with the use of medication. Intermittent catheterization or medications may also be used to control urinary leakage.

As an alternative to oral ED drugs, injectable medications such as alprostadil, papaverine, and phentolamine can often enhance erection by causing the dilation of blood vessels in the penis.Vacuum penile pumps
Vacurect Device
now a days is accepted by men in treating erectile dysfunction as they are side effect free and non-invasive. Penile implants are also gaining increasing acceptance by men for whom other options have failed.