Sexual dysfunction and associated risk factors in multiple sclerosis



multiple sclerosis, sexual dysfunction, cognitive impairment, depression


Aim: Sexual dysfunction (SD) is quite common in multiple sclerosis (MS), and exhibits a multifactorial pattern. This study was set out to evaluate the frequency of SD and explore the related factors to support the quality of MS patients’ lives. Methods: This cross-sectional study included 96 volunteer RRMS patients between 18 and 60 years of age who were diagnosed with MS according to the Mc Donald criteria between 2018 and 2019 in our hospital. Multiple sclerosis intimacy and sexuality questionnaire-19 (MSISQ-19), Arizona Sexual Experience Scale (ASEX), Multiple Sclerosis Inventory of Cognition (MUSIC) and Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) questionnaires were used. Results: Mean age of the patients was 38.46 (8.47) (min-max:20 – 60 years) years, and mean disease period was 77.02 (70.62) (3–324 months) months. Mean Extended Disability Status Scale (EDSS) score was 2.1 (1.33) (0-5) with a standard deviation of 80.5%. A negative correlation was observed between MUSIC cognitive and EDSS (P=0.017; r=-0.273), and BDI scores (P=0.003; r=-0.306). A significant and positive correlation was detected between MSISQ score (P<0.001; r=0.476) and BDI (P<0.001; r=0.529) in MUSIC fatigue test results. A negative and poor correlation was found between MUSIC fatigue and MUSIC cognitive score (P<0.001; r=-0.365). In patients with depression, mean MUSIC cognitive scores were lower (P=0.009), while MUSIC fatigue scores were higher (P<0.001). Age, educational status, presence of secondary SD were independent risk factors. Conclusion: SD, a quite common condition in MS, may be decreased to increase the quality of lives of patients through treatment of psychosocial factors associated with cognitive state.


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Köseoğlu M, Gözübatık Çelik RG, Tutuncu M, Bingöl A, Erbas B, Deringöl D, Ataklı D. Sexual dysfunction and associated risk factors in multiple sclerosis. J Surg Med [Internet]. 2020 Sep. 1 [cited 2024 Apr. 19];4(9):779-83. Available from: