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Erectile dysfunction and multiple sclerosis

Erectile dysfunction is a condition affecting men and is most likely to be connected to some underlying medical conditions. Apart from different illnesses that are commonly blamed for erectile dysfunction, men may develop erectile dysfunction due to certain psychological issues.

In individuals suffering from multiple sclerosis, there is irreversible damage to myelin sheath of different nerves of the nervous system. As a result, muscles and organs innervated by the affected nerves end up malfunctioning. If multiple sclerosis affects the nerves necessary for erection, men may develop serious issue regarding this activity. In fact, erectile dysfunction is one of the most commonly reported complaints of men suffering from this chronic neurological disorder.

Multiple Sclerosis and Erectile Dysfunction - the Connection

It is estimated that around 70-85% of all men suffering from multiple sclerosis also develop erectile dysfunction. This sexual problem does not occur immediately, but usually several years after the onset of multiple sclerosis.

Erection is a complex process which normally takes place once the muscles of the penis relax. Muscle relaxation is achieved with normal functioning of the communication between the brain and nerves innervating these muscles. Such relaxation allows blood to enter chambers inside the penis, expand the organ and increase its rigidity. Erection is a consequence of physical stimulation of the penis and also develops due to erotic situations and thoughts.

Erection associated with genital stimulation does not include participation of the brain and its signals. On the other hand, if there are physical contact and erotic thoughts/visual cues, they all require brain processing and this is the reason why in such case the brain gets actively involved in the entire process.

Because of all the mentioned, depending on the location of myelin sheath damage, a man may face difficulty achieving erection in response to physical stimulation, but may preserve this ability during foreplay or erotic situations and vice versa.

Additional Issues

Even though multiple sclerosis is actually a main culprit of erectile dysfunction, this problem can be also caused by drugs patients are prescribed or develops due to general anxiety. So, in men suffering from multiple sclerosis some of the mentioned factors as well as a combination of them are responsible for one's inability to achieve and maintain erection sufficient enough for sexual intercourse.

Finally, men suffering from multiple sclerosis may also have problems with retrograde ejaculation, a condition characterized by inadequate closure of the bladder which subsequently leads to backflow of the semen into the bladder instead of its elimination via the urethra.

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