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Parkinson's Disease and Sexual Problems

Topic Overview

Problems with sexual function in people with Parkinson's disease are common.

  • Muscle stiffness and movement may make sexual activity difficult.
  • Depression or anxiety may result in a loss of interest in sex or, in men, erection problems. These often can be improved by treatment with medicine.
  • Parkinson's disease can affect the nerves that control the sexual organs. This may cause difficulty in getting or maintaining an erection and delayed ejaculation in men. It can affect arousal in both men and women.
  • Medicines used to treat Parkinson's disease or other conditions may affect sexual function.

If you are having problems with sexual function, talk to your doctor. He or she may be able to help you pinpoint what is causing the problem. Sometimes changes in medicine or exercise or treatment for depression may be all that is needed to solve these problems.

Credits

By Healthwise Staff
Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine
G. Frederick Wooten, MD - Neurology
Last Revised December 5, 2012

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