Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic disease that occurs in young adults between the age of 21 and 54 and is more common among females than males. It is a progressive demyelinating and degenerative disease of the nervous system with symptoms dependent on the type of the disease and the site of lesions. MS is a presumed autoimmune disease associated with genetic and environmental risk factors possibly related to still unidentified pathogens. Among environmental factors, sexually transmitted infections are most likely connected with the etiology of MS. The increase in both incidence and prevalence rates has been observed in last decades and has put Italy in a high risk zone. MS exerts a direct impact on sexuality due to lesions in the central and peripheral nervous system and to different neurological symptoms and has a great impact on quality of life. Sexual dysfunctions affect about 50-90% of men and 40-80% of women with MS. The types of sexual dysfunction (SD) can be categorized in three levels. Primary SD includes impaired libido, lubrification and orgasm. Secondary SD is composed of limiting sexual expressions due to physical manifestations. Tertiary SD results from psychological, emotional, social and cultural aspects.
Keywords: Multiple sclerosis, sexual dysfunctions