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Thread: Sexual dysfunction and Tourette's

  1. #1

    Default Sexual dysfunction and Tourette's

    This is a bit embarassing for me but I figure I'm safe amongst fellow Tourette's sufferers. A little backhistory first, I was diagnosed at the age of 16 with tourettes. My TS manifested itself at age 8 but my Mother thought I was making faces trying to get attention. Needless to say I did not enjoy the negative attention, ie. physical abuse, I endured for the next 8 years. I was a shy little boy who did not know how to ask for help. Finally at age 16 I asked for help. Tried the drugs, didn't like them, had a negative reaction to halperidol. Decided I could live with my tics. Along comes puberty and the desire to want to experiment with girls. Right off the bat I notice that I have difficulty getting and maintaining an erection while I am with the my partner. I notice if i feel comfortable/relaxed, problems occur less. Finally after years of frustration, this is long before viagra and the openess of ED these days, I go to my doctor, he suggests viagra. Before I try it, I meet a girl and things are comfortable and I don't need the drug. Relationship ends and I'm back with being nervous and once again scared of trying to engage the oppsite sex for fear of "failing". I go to my doctor again, he says I'm depressed and proscribes anti-depressants, great for my depression, bad for the ED. I'm listening to the radio the other day and they are talking about the crystal meth. crisis. One of the things they talk about is how meth addicts burn out their dopamine receptors. I have an epifany at this point, TS is caused by an imbalance of dopamine in the brain. Dopamine transmits the pleasure signals. I'm now wondering if after all these years, 18 to be exact, if my Tourettes could be the cause of my ED problems? I have yet to see my doctor as I have been too busy with work and don't have time to make an appointment. Are there any other guys on this list that have had similar problems or am I grasping at straws?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
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    Default Sexual Dysfunction & TS

    Bob,

    Welcome to the TSFC Forum and there is no reason to feel embarrassed here. Most of us live with TS every day so we understand there are issues that are not easily discussed.

    Your situation of enduring a difficult childhood is so very common. Unfortunately even up to a decade ago TS might have been misunderstood for so many other things.

    I am not aware of correlation between erectile dysfunction and TS, but it is a topic worthy of further research.

    It can be said, however that many medications used to treat various aspects of TS have the side effect of causing erectile dysfunction or impotence, haloperidol being one.

    CLICK HERE for info from the Canadian Product Monograph. Look under "Adverse REactions" then "Endocrine"

    More information on Erectile Dysfunction can be found HERE, where the causes and treatment of the disorder are given.

    I have yet to see my doctor as I have been too busy with work and don't have time to make an appointment
    May I respectfully suggest you take charge of your health care and make this a top priority if your quality of life is being affected. There are treatments available, but you must avail yourself of them in order to get them.

    Remember the old joke that no one has yet been hear to say on their death bed "I should have spent more time at the office".

    I would propose the following strategy:

    Determine if your family physician has a professional interest and expertise in Tourette Syndrome. Not all GP's have sufficient training in TS, so you would want to get a referral to a Neurologist or Psychiatrist with expertise in TS.

    On explaining your story and your concerns, you can expect that physician to either initiate treatment or perhaps refer you to a Urologist to evaluate your ED.

    Have you been in contact with a local TS support resource in your area? Check HERE to see if there is one in your area.

    Have you consulted any specialists to date to discuss your concerns?

  3. #3

    Default Sexual Dysfunction & TS

    Bob,

    Hello and welcome again. Like steve said there is no need for feeling embarressed about this situation, or posting it here I guess. Anyways, it is true that dopamine is a "chemical" that is directly related to "sexual" feeling and it is true TS affects it. I to have not heard of TS being a main cause for ED but I have read before (I apologize, I dont remember where) that many doctors say that during sexual arousel, Touretters tic less due to a relaxed atmosphere and other complicated medical issues I probably dont understand. What I do know is that whoever said that very obviously does NOT have TS. Some of my worst tic are experienced during this time, which of course leads to more stress and anxiety which leads to more tics. So my point would be I guess, although there have not been any statements (at least to my knowledge) of TS directly causeing ED, sometimes doctors can be wrong or maybe just not know enough about this disorder to really give a 100% right answer. I would just suggest, like steve said, try to see a physician and make this the main point of the trip. Also, maybe visit some sites or books on ED and see if there is any helpful hints there as to what is the main cause of this problem.
    The other day at a local grocery store, I saw a rack with books on it and one of them said, "pregancy for dummies"............

  4. #4

    Default Sexual Dysfunction & TS

    Adam said "What I do know is that whoever said that very obviously does NOT have TS"

    LOL!

    ED is such a common problem for men. I really doubt it has anything to do with TS. I would definitely contact a doc for help about it though... I think a urologist is one of the first docs to see to rule stuff out? After that, maybe it's psychological? You mention having more success when you're comfortable and relaxed. That really sounds pretty normal to me...

  5. #5
    Join Date
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    Default Sexual Dysfunction & TS

    ED is such a common problem for men. I really doubt it has anything to do with TS
    You might be right, but there is no doubt that many medications used to treat the manifestations of Tourette Syndrome do indeed suppress libido and the ability to perform sexually.

    Most common of these are selective seretonin re-uptake inhibitors (SSRI's) frequently prescribed for Tourette patients to control OCD or even depression.

    Neuroleptics as well as other commonly used medications exhibit similar side effects.

  6. #6

    Default Sexual Dysfunction & TS

    You might be right, but there is no doubt that many medications used to treat the manifestations of Tourette Syndrome do indeed suppress libido and the ability to perform sexually.
    Hey, I figured out how to quote already! :D

    Agreed, but do meds have long-term effects? (I wouldn't be surprised!)
    He mentions he'd tried them, didn't like them, and was living med free..... though even if the meds did leave long-term side effects, technically, I'd still say it wasn't anything to do with the Tourette's itself.


  7. #7

    Default Sexual Dysfunction & TS

    I can't say for sure if my ed problems are caused by my TS definitively until I get some time off from work to go see a specialist. I'm in a catch 22 at the same time. I go to my doctor about my ED problems, he says I'm depressed and put's me on anti-depressants, anti-depressants even out my moods, but play havoc with my libido, thus getting me more worried and anxious. I know I wasn't always depressed and even at age 19 or 20 I would have problems performing. I noticed as I approached age 30 that I was nolonger getting daytime hardons and truth be told I can't remember the last time I got a freestanding hardon that wasn't self induced. As I said before, back in 1995 I tried an experimental TS drug and while I was on those meds I went over 3 months without a hardon of any sort. I decided that no drug with all it's side effects was worth putting up with. For the most part, I've been drug free with my TS and to be honest, I think i manage ok. I hate the cycles and I seem to be on a bad one that has gone on for longer than usual. When I have some news from a specialist I'll post it for everyone to read.

  8. #8
    Join Date
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    Default Sexual Dysfunction & TS

    Bob,

    We'll be looking forward to hearing about your visit to a specialist regarding erectile dysfunction. Are you seeing a Urologist?

    The choice to medicate should be made in consultation with your physician on the basis of benefits vs risks and the potential for improvement of your quality of life.

    That being said, if you are afflicted with depression, consider that there are many choices in medication available today that can treat the illness. While it's true anti depressants can affect libido, not all anti depressants affect each person the same way.

    How many different anti depressants have you tried, Bob?

    It sometimes requires trying several different anti depressants and often changing the dosage before finding one that works for you.

    Sometimes after trying several medications, a return to one that previously failed will yield positive results.

    Bob, depression is a treatable illness, and patience is often required before finding just the right medication for you. There is no need to live with the pain of depression.

    Find the treatment that works for you, and once the specter of depression is lifted from your life, you may find that your sexual arousal will return on its own.

    The goal in treating depression is that you experience more good days than bad days. The cycles may continue, but with the right medication, the cycles of bad days decrease in number and in frequency.

    It's worth the effort and your quality of life will improve.

    Stay in contact with us and let us know how we can help.

  9. #9

    Default Sexual Dysfunction & TS

    Guys, just to clarify something, I'm med free in regards to my TS, but I am on meds for my depression. The anti-depressants are working and the cycles I was referring to are my TS cycles, not the depression.

  10. #10
    Join Date
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    Default Sexual Dysfunction & TS

    Bob,

    Thanks for the clarification and it's especially good to know your depression is under control. Tourette tics do tend to wax and wain and at times seem to be more severe.

    We care about about the members of our online community and we are here to help.

    Kind regards,

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