My wife has MS and libido is gone.

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My wife has MS and libido is gone.

Postby Fireguy4669 » Sun Sep 22, 2013 6:56 am

Hello all,

First time post. 3 years ago my wife was diagnosed with MS after the birth of our son. Over the course of those years her libido and desire to have intercourse with me has diminished to almost nothing, where before our son was born it was very high and we had a healthy and happy sex life.

I am having a difficult time with this situation. I love my wife with all my heart, she is the only one I want. I'm trying to be understanding but the lack of our intimacy is killing me. We've gone to counseling with few results, is there a supplement that she can try to help boost her libido. Before anyone says anything, I'm very supportive with her MS, but I'm 37 years old and I want a healthy and happy intimate life again with the one and only love of my life. Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated.
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Re: My wife has MS and libido is gone.

Postby Anonymoose » Sun Sep 22, 2013 8:02 am

If you want a supplement recommendation, I would recommend zinc. However, I doubt it will be as simple as that.

Is she getting enough rest? Do you have adult one on one time? Does she have sensory issues or spasticity (these would make some things that were good for her before absolutely miserable)? Is she still dealing with the initial fallout of her diagnosis...depression?

How is your relationship? Are you nonchalantly sliding in to take up the slack of work that she can't handle anymore or is it a front and center issue?? Pointing out that she isn't doing as much as you and you are doing her work is totally destructive to your relationship. We would like nothing more than to be able to do what we used to do...and we know it is only likely to get worse.

If none of those "other" things are issues, zinc should bring some spark back to her. If not, you've got a bit more work to do to get things going again. Good luck!
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Re: My wife has MS and libido is gone.

Postby jimmylegs » Sun Sep 22, 2013 10:51 am

some info for your wife to consider:

re supplements for libido, ZINC!! absolutely. childbearing depletes it, and poor zinc status is associated with MS.

serum zinc 'normal' range is 11.5-18.5 umol/L. 'normal' ranges provided by labs suck b/c only patient values are represented (ie no one healthy was tested there) so the lab's range is technically 'sick-normal'

on average ms patients have low-normal (eg low teens) to deficient (eg 11 or lower) serum zinc. healthy controls have high-normal (eg 17-19) serum zinc levels.

serum zinc test results should be between 18 and 19 umol/L for optimal health.

boosting whole unprocessed nutrient-dense food sources of zinc (oysters win - no wonder they are known aphrodesiacs), and limiting intakes of food detrimental to zinc status, is a good first step. things that interfere with zinc retention include high/excess intakes of: gluten, dairy or calcium supplements, phytates, alcohol, sugar.

re supplementation. it is safe to take 50mg zinc citrate per day. be sure to find a product blended with 2mg copper citrate so that the zinc intake does not deplete copper. also carefully watch zinc iron balance. if ferritin levels are low, zinc and iron must both be corrected.

it would be wise to order three blood tests for baseline data: serum zinc, serum ferritin, and serum copper. if you can get levels and bring them back here we can look at how to address the results, then formulate a plan to correct.

hope that helps :) any questions, fire away
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Re: My wife has MS and libido is gone.

Postby lyndacarol » Sun Sep 22, 2013 12:15 pm

Fireguy4669 wrote:Hello all,

First time post. 3 years ago my wife was diagnosed with MS after the birth of our son. (The pancreas in a pregnant woman increases insulin production in order to support the development of the baby. Increased insulin allows the baby to put on weight. I suspect that your wife's body did not down-regulate insulin production to normal again after the baby was born; and, in time, the excess started the MS cascade.) Over the course of those years her libido and desire to have intercourse with me has diminished to almost nothing, where before our son was born it was very high and we had a healthy and happy sex life.

I am having a difficult time with this situation. I love my wife with all my heart, she is the only one I want. I'm trying to be understanding but the lack of our intimacy is killing me. We've gone to counseling with few results, is there a supplement that she can try to help boost her libido. Before anyone says anything, I'm very supportive with her MS, but I'm 37 years old and I want a healthy and happy intimate life again with the one and only love of my life. Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated.

Welcome to ThisIsMS, Fireguy4669. I commend you for identifying this difficulty and trying to improve the situation for you and your wife. I hold you to your last statement, "Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated." And I offer you mine.

Anonymoose has a good suggestion with the zinc, found in oysters (and other food sources), which have long been recommended for improving sexual "prowess." Jimmylegs has given good advice, as she usually does on the nutrition front!

Since I believe that my MS symptoms are the result of damage from excess insulin, I encourage your wife to request a "fasting blood insulin test" from her physician; the insulin test is NOT to be confused with a glucose test used to diagnose diabetes. The optimal insulin test result is 3 UU/ML or lower (my insulin test results have never been lower than 9)
My hypothesis: excess insulin (hyperinsulinemia) plays a major role in MS, as developed in my initial post: http://www.thisisms.com/forum/general-discussion-f1/topic1878.html "Insulin – Could This Be the Key?"
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Re: My wife has MS and libido is gone.

Postby jimmylegs » Sun Sep 22, 2013 12:45 pm

interestingly zinc may also have a mild influence on insulin status (in diabetics) but in this study at least, the effect does not reach statistical significance... I suspect the potential involvement of a depleted cofactor not tracked here..

Effects of combination of zinc and vitamin A supplementation on serum fasting blood sugar, insulin, apoprotein B and apoprotein A-I in patients with type I diabetes (2010)
http://informahealthcare.com/doi/abs/10 ... 0903334171

zinc and vit a treatment group
avg insulin levels before...16.6 mU/dl
avg insulin levels after.....15.98 mU/dl
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Re: My wife has MS and libido is gone.

Postby CaliReader » Sun Sep 22, 2013 3:42 pm

Hi Fireguy.

You didn't say how your wife's MS was otherwise.
You've received some good suggestions above. One important issue is what specifically is causing the problem. Here are a few possibilities, any of which, or a combination would do it.

One, MS fatigue is a horrible enemy. It's tough to feel interest when you feel sick and tired all the time. If there is sensation to work with, quiet time together in the morning may be a lot more workable than the same sort of time together at night.

Two. If you are dealing with spinal cord injury MS loss of sensation, you are facing more of a challenge. I don't have personal knowledge, but have read that in response to that kind of injury, the brain will relocate sexual feeling to other parts of the body that still have nerve function. In that situation I would experiment, and possibly talk to a doctor.

Three. MS often brings on depression, which can reduce sex drive. Depression meds can also cut sex drive. If your wife went to her doctor to ask for help with this, there might be some help available.

You sound like a good man. Good luck.
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Re: My wife has MS and libido is gone.

Postby Fireguy4669 » Sun Sep 22, 2013 4:53 pm

Thank you all for the advice. To answer some questions: I do a lot of the house chores, to let my wife rest and take it easy, especially when she gets home from work. I do not make her feel bad, however she does point out that she knows I do alot and sometimes she doesn't help because she is fatigued and that in turn makes her feel bad.

We have one on one time when our son goes to bed but then we watch TV or whatever. I try to initiate love making but alot of the times I get pushed away because she doesn't have any interest. So with that being said, I don't know when to try and help her get in the mood, because the times we do have intimate contact after she gets into it things are fine.

I feel terrible for her, she use to be very active ( big softball player ) but not anymore because the energy is not there to play. She is a sweetheart and would do anything for anyone, I'm just at a loss. I don't know what to do to make her feel better (not sexually) just better in general. Any advice from other women with MS, how their husbands make them feel good, (not sexually) I mean being there for them.

Thanks again.
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Re: My wife has MS and libido is gone.

Postby jimmylegs » Sun Sep 22, 2013 6:51 pm

on the energy side of things and with an athletic background I would look into more of the suspect nutrients for both ms patients and athletes. starting with magnesium. magnesium is a key requirement for maintaining energy levels and is easily depleted via physical exertion (among many other things). deficiency is widespread and linked to a wide variety of common diseases. very poorly assessed/treated too :S magnesium is often low in typical diets and it is a challenging nutrient to supplement properly. I have more info if you would like.
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Re: My wife has MS and libido is gone.

Postby euphoniaa » Mon Sep 23, 2013 5:07 am

Fireguy4669 wrote:Hello all,

First time post. 3 years ago my wife was diagnosed with MS after the birth of our son. Over the course of those years her libido and desire to have intercourse with me has diminished to almost nothing, where before our son was born it was very high and we had a healthy and happy sex life.

I am having a difficult time with this situation. I love my wife with all my heart, she is the only one I want. I'm trying to be understanding but the lack of our intimacy is killing me. We've gone to counseling with few results, is there a supplement that she can try to help boost her libido. Before anyone says anything, I'm very supportive with her MS, but I'm 37 years old and I want a healthy and happy intimate life again with the one and only love of my life. Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated.


Hello Fireguy, and welcome! I'm impressed by your love and respect for your wife and appreciate your determination to work through this issue.

Anyway, you've been offered many suggestions of things to TAKE, but my single question to you is: What meds is she already taking? Many, many of the meds (and even supplements!) for MS or MS symptoms (or other medical conditions) can have the effect of killing the libido, or at least causing enough fatigue or depression to make that sort of physical activity too much of an effort.

Although I'm admittedly medphobic, it's with good reason due to my history of ridiculous reactions to both meds and vitamins/supplements (I keep charts to prove it). I also have to urge caution even with adding supplements, since some of those have given me worse episodes than MS has ever given me -- even those that are most commonly suggested to MS patients (I seem to be allergic to most all Omega 3s, for example).

Best of luck to you both.
Dx'd with MS & HNPP (hereditary peripheral neuropathy) 7/03 but must have had MS for 30 yrs before that. I've never taken meds for MS except 1 yr experiment on LDN. (I found diet, exercise, sleep, humor, music help me the most.)
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Re: My wife has MS and libido is gone.

Postby jimmylegs » Mon Sep 23, 2013 3:01 pm

meds are definitely an important factor - often they deplete nutrients too, there's TONS of info out there on nutrient depletion due to pharma products.
personally I would consider trying zinc foods and/or supplements to see if it worked before not trying it in case it was a problem.. we are talking about an essential nutrient after all.. just my 2c..
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Re: My wife has MS and libido is gone.

Postby Ninabean » Tue Sep 24, 2013 6:59 pm

I am a 36 yr old married woman who was diagnosed last year. I can relate to your wife - my libido has tanked! I mean, epic-style tanked! I think what helps most is communication (as cheesy as it sounds). Once I started actually talking to my husband about what I was feeling, it made a world of difference. I was struggling with the change in my desire for sex and being honest about it really helped. We are still getting used to our new normal but it's a lot better now ( sometimes I even initiate!!). I don't know how much help that is but it certainly sounds like you are crazy in love with your wife and I wish you the best!
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Re: My wife has MS and libido is gone.

Postby CuriousRobot » Wed Sep 25, 2013 10:04 am

I'm not one to pin down *symptoms* to MS so quickly as individuals tend to sloppily explain away things they do not understand, or wish to understand [because it involves the effort of investigation; sometimes a very painful thing]. Caveat: I mean this entirely generally and not personally directed at you, or anyone on the forum. In terms of your situation, since your wife does engage in some kind sexual relation with you [albeit much less pronounced as per your post] does not indicate, to me, some kind of sensory deficit [i.e., a disability brought on by nervous tissue destruction, etc]. Quote: "the times we do have intimate contact after she gets into it things are fine."

I'm much more interested in what you said about the birth of your son and her slow, step-wise diminution of her libido, which the MS diagnosis coincided with. Could this be some sort of unresolved postpartum depression, and the MS diagnosis is simply masking it, and or, unfortunately, changing and continually reinforcing it? You mentioned fatigue, and fatigue is symptomatic of depression, and not exclusively MS. I believe it is worth investigating, no matter how painful, because she is your wife. Things have certainly changed in your life [and I don't mean negatively]: you have a son now, so things are different. Likewise, your sex life may have become different [and I don't imply that this is permanent]. Some people even find luck with karezza, e.g. Though, I do like what Ninabean mentioned: talking. I think talking about things can be very therapeutic, indeed; no one is an island; we go through things together, even if we can't readily see that relationship [the former].
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Re: My wife has MS and libido is gone.

Postby NHE » Thu Sep 26, 2013 1:24 am

Fireguy4669 wrote:I am having a difficult time with this situation. I love my wife with all my heart, she is the only one I want. I'm trying to be understanding but the lack of our intimacy is killing me. We've gone to counseling with few results, is there a supplement that she can try to help boost her libido. Before anyone says anything, I'm very supportive with her MS, but I'm 37 years old and I want a healthy and happy intimate life again with the one and only love of my life. Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated.


Does she drink spearmint tea? It would probably be a good thing to stay away from. For further info see this article from the People's Pharmacy site. http://www.peoplespharmacy.com/2013/09/ ... rmint-tea/
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Re: My wife has MS and libido is gone.

Postby amberfer » Thu Dec 19, 2013 9:08 pm

Hi! As some others have said, it may be unrelated. It certainly wasn't my experience; my libido actually increased, and it's my healthy husband (who may be depressed?) who is hard to convince to come to bed!

Or it could be related to her medication and not the MS. I'm not a doctor; of course I don't know, just brainstorming.

This is such a valid concern! Does she know of your frustration? Has she spoken to her doctor about this?
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