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Sexuality and MS: Questions and Answers
How can I improve my sex life?
MS will change your sex life. There are two ways to deal with this - to back
away from sex, or to face the sexual challenges of MS and find a "new normal"
that will give you and your partner the satisfaction you need. Just because
you have MS, it doesn't mean that your sexual desires will go away or become
inappropriate. In fact, keeping up a good sex life can help your overall well-being.
Here are some ideas for coping with the sex-related challenges posed by MS:
Fatigue: The best way to deal with fatigue is to choose a time for
sex when you are at your highest energy level. For many people, this is in
the morning or early afternoon. You can also try to raise your energy level
using moderate exercise and healthy eating.
Lower sex drive: To help increase your level of desire, think about
what makes you feel sexy. Do the things that turn you on, and tell your partner
about them. Experiment with and talk to your partner to find what works for
you as a couple. Rediscover the fun of flirting - you may need more than before
to get to the same level of desire. If lack of desire is still a problem,
speak to your doctor or health care provider.
Trouble getting an erection: A number of options are available to
help improve erections. Some men with MS find that manual stimulation before
sex can be useful. If this doesn't work, talk to your doctor about other treatment
Vaginal dryness or trouble having an orgasm: Many women with MS experience
these problems. Using water-based lubricants can help with vaginal dryness.
To make it easier to have an orgasm, try Kegel exercises to strengthen the
pelvic muscles. Manual stimulation may also help.
Bowel or bladder control problems: To avoid an accident during sex,
empty your bowels and bladder beforehand. You may also want to lay down a
towel or old sheet in case some leakage occurs. Keeping a sense of humor,
and being aware that this may happen, can help deal with this situation.
It's normal to feel a sense of anger or loss because of the sexual effects
of MS. However, there are many different ways to get sexual pleasure other than
the ones you may be used to. By communicating openly and honestly with your
partner and health professional, you can find a new ways to have a great sex