Sexual Dysfunction in MS: Common Electrodiagnostic Findings.

TitleSexual Dysfunction in MS: Common Electrodiagnostic Findings.
Publication TypeJournal Article
AuthorsYang CC
JournalInternational Journal of MS Care

Introduction: The pudendal nerves mediate genital somatic sensation via the dorsal nerves and the perineal nerves. We evaluated whether disrupted genital somatosensory pathways are associated with subjective reports of sexual dysfunction in women and men with MS. Patients and Methods: We enrolled 34 women (mean age = 45.6 years, range 24-71) and 23 men (mean age = 44.9 years, range 24-71) with a definite diagnosis of MS. We performed pudendal somatosensory evoked potential (SEP) testing and administered sexual function questionnaires to all subjects. Results: The mean EDSS was 4.5 (range 2.5-7.0) in the women and 4.4 (range 2.5-8.0) in the men. Four women and two men reported little or no sexual dysfunction. The most common sexual complaint was difficult or no orgasm in women and erectile dysfunction in men. Ten women and three men had normal pudendal SEP latencies in both dorsal nerve trunks. Sexual dysfunction complaints were statistically associated with abnormalities or absence of one or both pudendal SEPs. Conclusions: Women and men with MS both report high rates of sexual dysfunction. Electrodiagnostic data imply that pudendal somatosensory innervation is associated with sexual dysfunction in both groups, reflecting a common pathophysiologic mechanism.

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