Urinary, faecal and sexual dysfunction in patients with multiple sclerosis
The prevalence and nature of bladder and bowel dysfunction were examined in a population-based study of 221 patients with multiple sclerosis who returned postal questionnaires. This preliminary investigation was supplemented by personal review which also provided information on sexual dysfunction in 174 and laboratory and urodynamic tests in 152 participants. Thirty of 221 (14%) currently used an indwelling catheter, and 84 of the remainding190 (44%) reported symptoms of urinary dysfunction, of which the most common were urgency and frequency. Thirteen of 144 (9%) patients had biochemical evidence of renal dysfunction, and 40 of 132 (30%) had infected urine samples. Eleven of 54 patients in whom investigation of upper urinary tract was thought to be appropriate demonstrated abnormalities. Sixty-four of 221 (29%) patients had experienced faecal incontinence, and 120 of 221 (54%) were constipated. Fifty-six of 68 (82%) men and 55 of 106 (52%) women reported a deterioration in sexual activity, the commonest symptoms being erectile failure in men and fatigue in women.