Parkinson’s disease: impacted sexuality

Parkinson’s disease is often associated with very old people. In fact, the issue of sexuality takes a back seat and remains very little discussed. Wrongly. Explanations.

On the occasion of world parkinson’s day, the France Parkinson association took an interest in sexual disorders caused by the syndrome. Contrary to received ideas which attribute this degeneration to people of old age, the average age at which it is detected is 58 years old. Remember that Parkinson’s affects more than 200,000 people in France. A whole series of bodily and daily changes resulted from this discovery, radically altering the quality of life of patients.

The issue of privacy in the case of a neurodegenerative disease is essential. Parkinson’s causes motor symptoms in affected patients and alters physiological functions and genitals. This is directly due to the lack of dopamine, at the heart of the disease. In 2013, 727 people affected were questioned about their sexuality, 40% answered that they were victims of sexual disorders and were affected by it.. 60% of women said they had seen their sex life impacted from the very beginning of the disease.

Sexual disorders that we must dare to talk about

Concretely, in men this manifests itself by erection and ejaculation disorders. In women, lubrication is reduced due to changes in the central nervous system and libido drops for both sexes. Several patients testify to pain during sex. All these observations mark the importance of paying attention and understanding them, from a medical point of view, to prevent these disorders from feeding into a depressive syndrome.

The disease is a barrier to sexuality, as the neurologist and neuro-urologist, Maria-Carmelita Scheiber-Nogueira explains: “The motor disorders which occur progressively constitute in themselves an important brake on the expression of sexuality (hypertonia, blockages, tremors, stiffness, trunk bent forward, slowness of gestures …). The related biochemical changes to the dysfunction of the dopaminergic neurons also cause alterations in the sexual functioning of the person (very frequent hypersexuality, unusual sexual acts, even compulsive, addictive and expensive behaviors on pornographic sites …). “

There are solutions nevertheless, both from a medicinal point of view and via psychological follow-up and / or with a sex therapist. But to achieve this, and improve the quality of life of Parkinson’s patients, we still need to free up the floor on these difficult-to-discuss subjects.

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