Multiple Sclerosis and Sex

When you or your partner has multiple sclerosis (MS), you may be concerned about how to pursue intimacy while navigating the symptoms and impacts of this chronic condition. But don’t panic! While MS and sexual function are linked, you can still have a satisfactory and exciting sex life by taking a few new considerations into account.

MS and Sexual Function

While it is possible to have an active and fulfilling sex life with MS, this condition does impact sexual intimacy. Vaginal dryness, erectile dysfunction, decreased libido, numbness, and other physical symptoms can make encounters uncomfortable, and the symptoms of having a chronic disease—such as fatigue, pain, depression, or anxiety—can get in the way of pursuing sexual relationships.
Facing MS And sexual function can feel daunting, but it is well worth the effort. Talk to your medical and mental healthcare providers to address your or your partner’s specific symptoms. While these conversations can be uncomfortable, they are necessary for tackling MS and sexual function in your life.

3 Tips for Navigating Multiple Sclerosis and Sex

1. Educate Yourself on MS and Sexual Function

Knowledge is power, and exploring MS and sexual function is no exception. If you or your partner are diagnosed with MS, it is essential to research and educate yourself on the symptoms, challenges, and conditions associated with the disease. Safety and comfort during sex are often top anxieties for individuals with multiple sclerosis, and learning the specific issues that impact you or your partner during sex can go a long way in building trust and intimacy. Consider:
  • Speaking with your doctor about symptoms and medication side effects
  • Researching myths vs. realities about MS and sexual function
  • Joining an in-person or online support group to speak with other couples with multiple sclerosis

2. Keep Communication Open and Ongoing

Communication is key to any healthy and thriving relationship, regardless of physical mobility or ability. Whether this is communication with your healthcare team, your partner, or other involved parties, advocating for yourself or your partner goes a long way in building the trust necessary for pursuing intimate encounters. This communication could include:
  • Expressing the need to plan dates ahead of time to allow for adequate preparation and medical coordination
  • Talking plainly and directly about your needs with your healthcare provider
  • Engaging in individual or couple’s therapy
  • Speaking openly and often with your partner about your needs, boundaries, or limitations
  • Keeping a journal to communicate and organize your own thoughts and feelings

3. Don’t Be Afraid to Experiment

Don’t forget the most important aspect of any sexual encounter—fun! Sex should be enjoyable and satisfactory for everyone involved. When dealing with physical disability or mobility limitations, it can be easy for us to focus on the things we cannot do. Instead, try reangling your perception and set your attention on new and exciting ways to have sex with your partner:
  • Incorporate disability sex aids, such as chairs, swings, positioning devices, and more
  • Discover new sexual positions that don’t worsen pain, weakness, or spasticity issues
  • Use body mapping to identify what spots of your body feel best
  • Masturbate to become familiar with what works for you
  • Plan ahead with your partner to explore new and exciting intimate moments when symptoms are less severe

IntimateRider Supports Couples Managing Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis doesn’t mean the end of your sex life, only that it is changing to fit evolving physical needs. IntimateRider is here to support you on your journey. Our products are explicitly designed to make sex safe, comfortable, and enjoyable for couples with multiple sclerosis or other mobility limitations. We offer: Our products are intuitive, easy to use, and available for purchase through our exclusive distributor, Living Spinal. Visit the Living Spinal store for further details, and contact us to learn more about how our accessibility aids can help you navigate MS and sexual function.