Sexual Dysfunction in PD

This non-motor symptom is probably not discussed in the doctor's office as much as it should be.  Here are some good resources on the topic of sexual dysfunction in PD.

Downloadable Documents | Online Articles | Podcasts & Webinars | Expert-level Resources

Downloadable Documents (PDF)

Intimacy and Parkinson's

Published by the Parkinson's Foundation, 2019

Two pages (PDF) discussing how those with PD and their partner can explore new ways to connect and communicate to create deeper intimacy even in the face of relationship change due to the challenges of a Parkinson's diagnosis.

Intimate Relationships and Parkinson’s

Published by Parkinson’s UK, September 2014

This 37-page booklet (PDF) looks at relationships in general, the challenges couples may face, starting new relationships and how Parkinson’s may affect your sexual functioning, both physically and emotionally.  In each section there is information and suggestions for ways to overcome problems.

Online Articles

How to Cope with Sexual Side Effects of Parkinson’s Disease

By Patrick McNamara, PhD.  Published by, April 7, 2017

General sexual symptoms of Parkinson’s disease affects men and women differently.  Parkinson’s effect on men and sex drive, women and PD, sexual effects of parkinson’s medications, and ways to circumvent what PD throws at you are discussed.

Let’s Talk About Sex (and Parkinson’s)

By Gila Bronner and Orna Moore.  Published by Parkinson’s Life, April 9, 2015

This webpage highlights both the motor and non-motor symptoms, medication side effects, and psychological aspects that contribute to disturbed sexual function, as well as the contradictory role of the partner-caregiver.  Resolution of sexual disfunction requires open communication with your healthcare professional(s) and your partner.

Parkinson’s and Sex

By Yvonne K. Fulbright, PhD, MS Ed.  Published by the American Parkinson Disease Association

Identifying the physical, psychological, and relationship issues of sex with Parkinson’s disease with tips for resolving relationship issues.

Parkinson’s Disease and Sexual Issues

Published by Victoria State Government, Australia, April 2017

This webpage summarizes the motor and autonomic nervous system with respect to Parkinson’s disease, how treatment for Parkinson’s can affect sexuality, sexual issues for people with Parkinson’s disease and their partners, practical suggestions and professional help for couples.

Sex and Parkinson’s

Published by Parkinson’s UK

This series of five webpages discusses how Parkinson’s affects sex, the sexual problems Parkinson’s can cause with separate pages for men and women, and suggestions for improving one’s sex life.

Sexual and Reproductive Health with Parkinson’s

Published by the Micheal J. Fox Foundation

Several aspects of sexual dysfunction related to Parkinson’s disease symptoms, medication side effects and psychological issues with strategies and therapies to compensate are discussed, as well as contraception and pregnancy, briefly.

Sexual Health

Published by the National Parkinson Foundation (Now the Parkinson's Foundation)

This series of four webpages discusses Parkinson’s and male sexual health, Parkinson’s and female sexual health, what can be done about sexual dysfunction, and the impact of sexual problems on people with PD and their partners.

Women’s Health & Sexuality

By Maria De León, MD.  Published by, November 30, 2016

Both men and women suffer from sexual problems when it comes to chronic disease, like Parkinson’s.  For women, there are six areas of sexual dysfunction, complicated by fatigue, incontinence, and embarrassment.  Tips for overcoming these, in addition to medications, and alternative therapies, like behavioral therapy, sex therapy, acupuncture, yoga, and meditation.

Podcasts & Webinars

Communication and Intimacy

By the American Parkinson Disease Association, August 22, 2017

This 52-minute webinar, presented by a clinical sexologist, covers important topics like emotional challenges, physical sexual issues, expanding your definitions of intimacy and sex, fears and expectations, where to seek help and much more.

Intimacy and Parkinson’s

By the Parkinson’s Foundation, December 1, 2018

The second presenter at the Parkinson’s Foundation Caregiver Summit, this 1-hour talk by clinical sexologist, Sheila Silver, offers practical tools to help those with Parkinson’s and their partners discuss changes Parkinson’s has had on their sexual relationship.  She suggests ways to broaden how partners think about sex and offers tools to increase both physical and emotional intimacy despite physical challenge. [Requires registration, but is free.]
Presenter's slides  

Intimacy & Sexual Health in Parkinson's Disease

By University of Florida Center for Movement Disorders and Neurorestoration, April 10, 2021

In this 24-minute talk, neurologist Bavana Patel, MD, discusses why it is important to talk about sexual health, how Parkinson's disease affects sexual health, and management options, including practical strategies from patients and medications.

Intimacy in PD

By PMD Alliance, June 18, 2020

This one-hour webinar featuring clinical sexologist, Dr. Sheila Silver, may be of benefit to both caregivers and those with PD.  Intimacy encompasses deep emotional, mental, spiritual, and physical closeness in a relationship.  Both the motor and non-motor symptoms of Parkinson’s can have an impact on all aspects of intimacy.  In addition, care partners face their own challenges, exacerbated by caregiver stress.
Webinar notes on the Stanford PD Community Blog

Sex, Intimacy, and Parkinson's

By the Davis Phinney Foundation, May 16, 2024

In this 35-minute webinar Davis Phinney Foundation Director of Education and Content, Devon Fulford, talks with two certified sex therapists, about the ways Parkinson’s may affect sex and intimacy.

Sex, Unfiltered

By the Davis Phinney Foundation, May 8, 2024

In this 36-minute episode of the Davis Phinney Foundation (DPF) Parkinson's Podcast, young-onset women with PD Heather Kennedy and Kat Hill dive deep into the importance and challenges of sexual health for people with Parkinson’s.

Sex, Love, & Parkinson’s

By the Michael J. Fox Foundation, February 20, 2020

In this 1-hour webinar, a panel of speakers including a person with PD, a professor of geriatrics, and a certified sex therapist discussed how PD can impact sexual function. They covered the different sexual changes that men and women experience due to aging and PD; how medications can impact sex; and strategies and treatments for sexual disfunction in PD. The discussion included an extensive Q&A session. [Registration required, but is free]
Webinar notes on PD Community Support blog

Sexual Dysfunction and Parkinson’s Disease

By the Michael J. Fox Foundation, September 17, 2015

This 1-hour webinar includes a discussion of erectile dysfunction and reduced libido as well as how motor symptoms can impact sexual relationships. Experts will also cover hypersexuality, a common side effect of medications used to treat Parkinson’s.  [Registration is required, but is free.]

Expert-Level Resources

Management of Sexual Dysfunction in Parkinson’s Disease

By Gila Bronner and David B. Vodusek.  Therapeutic Advances in Neurological Disorders, November 2011, vol. 4, no. 6, pages 375-383

Sexual dysfunction is common and under recognized in patients with Parkinson’s disease.  It plays a major role in the deterioration of quality of life for both patients and their partners.  Recommendations are for neurologists to actively investigate sexual dysfunction in their Parkinson’s patients and offer treatments within a multidisciplinary team.

Last updated August 2020 by Stanford Parkinson's Community Outreach.