Do You Know That Parkinson's Disease Affects Sexual Health?
Parkinson’s disease is a neurological disorder that occurs when there is a gradual loss of the cells of the brain that makes and stores a chemical called dopamine. Dopamine is a chemical which sends messages that controls movement. Parkinson’s disease is characterized as a movement-related disorder that makes it difficult for a patient to perform daily activities. The symptoms of Parkinson’s disease are divided into motor and non-motor symptoms. The symptoms of Parkinson’s disease are divided into motor and non-motor symptoms. Motor symptoms are those symptoms that affect the movement, and non-motor symptoms are the symptoms that do not have any effect on the movement. The most common motor symptom of Parkinson’s disease includes tremor, stiffness of the muscle, problems with posture, balance, coordination, walking, and slowness of movements. Whereas, the non-motor symptoms of Parkinson’s disease include anxiety, tiredness, depression, and hallucinations. The symptoms of this disease vary from person to person. It can affect people of any age, but advancing age is one of the most common causes of Parkinson’s disease. Also, men are more likely to suffer from this disease as compared to women.
The exact cause of Parkinson’s disease is not known yet, but most researchers believe that both genetics and environmental factors play a role in the development of this disease. There is no cure for Parkinson’s disease, but there are some drugs that are recommended by doctors to reduce the symptoms and adverse effects of this disease.
The Link between Parkinson’s disease and sexual disorders
Parkinson’s disease is associated with sexual disorders, and it usually begins after the beginning of motor disorders. Lack of dopamine chemical is linked with the deterioration of sex life. Further, motor symptoms such as tremors and hypertonia are likely to promote unsatisfied sexuality. It affects sexual health through the following ways:
- It reduces desire
- Creates difficulty in reaching orgasm
- Problems with erections
- Problems with ejaculation
Parkinson’s disease is the result of low dopamine chemical in the brain and dopamine acts as a neurotransmitter that controls sexual functioning at the level of the central nervous system. Sexual function is a complex process that is under control of the central nervous system. The dopamine plays a major role in the occurrence of the erections and decline in the production of dopamine in the patients having Parkinson’s disease is highly associated with the impaired erectile function and development of erectile dysfunction. Erectile dysfunction is an inability to achieve or maintain a satisfactory penile erection. The brain plays a vital role in sexual function and sexual response is influenced and controlled by spinal autonomic nuclei. Many changes in the activities of efferent autonomic pathways to the erectile tissues take place for penile erection. According to the researchers, most of the people having Parkinson’s disease also suffer from erectile dysfunction. The characteristics of Parkinson’s disease often leads to the development of the symptoms of erectile dysfunction and as the disease progresses it leads to an impairment of erectile function.
Parkinson’s disease is also associated with another sexual problem, called hypersexuality. Hypersexuality is often a consequence of dopaminergic dysregulation. Hypersexuality belongs to impulse control disorder, and numerous studies suggest that the prevalence of impulse control disorder is high in people who have Parkinson’s disease. Hypersexuality is a condition of increased sexual interest, arousal, and behavior and is characterized by sexual thoughts, frequent demands, and desire for sexual activity. Dopamine is said to play an important role in hypersexual behavior, and this disorder is treated with a dopamine agonist.
Also, as Parkinson’s disease progresses it creates problems with memory, concentration and various behavioral changes such as depression, hallucinations, and low self esteem. Psychological factors such as depression and low self esteem have a negative effect on libido. It disrupts sexual function by disappearing sexual desires. Frustration, anxiety, and depression affect the libido and sexual performance. Stress and depression are considered to be one of the major cause of erectile dysfunction and these factors are common in people suffering from Parkinson’s disease.