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Sex, Intimacy, and Family Planning with Multiple Sclerosis

By Kimberly Castelo

One of the most common misconceptions for people living with Multiple Sclerosis, as well as for other chronic illnesses and diseases, is that because of this diagnosis, you are no longer a sexual being. 

Society desexualizes people who have disabled bodies, and because of this, it is easy for those of us who experience things like MS to also experience shame around being desexualized, as well as struggles in our romantic relationships. 

The way we understand and approach sex is influenced by our family of origin, our religion, our culture, society, and our past experiences of sex (i.e. sexual trauma). When you take this, and you add on an additional layer of something painful and uncertain like MS, it can definitely have an impact on us. 

However, the idea that people with MS do not and cannot have an interest in sex could not be further from the truth. 

Having MS doesn’t automatically mean you never want to have sex again. It does not mean that nobody will ever want to have sex with you. It does not mean that you will never have pleasurable, enjoyable, fulfilling sex again. 

What it does mean, however, are the following things:

  • Sex with MS may look different than it did previous to your diagnosis 
  • You may have to have more in-depth and open conversations about sex with your partner and your healthcare provider
  • You may experience some difficulties when engaging in sexual activities with MS, but it is not uncommon for people (with or without MS) to experience sexual problems)

In 2019, I did a live webinar with the Multiple Sclerosis Association of America in which I discussed sexual connection and intimacy for people with MS in relationships. 

Along with this, I touched on the subjects of:

  • The importance of being open about sex
  • The myths and truths about sex (both with and without MS)
  • How to approach and begin family planning 
  • Things to avoid when communicating with your partner(s)
  • And a Q & A at the end!

This webinar would be incredibly helpful for anyone who is, or who has a partner who is, experiencing MS in a relationship. 

To watch the full webinar, please go here.

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About Kimberly Castelo,


Kimberly (she/her) is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, an AASECT Certified Sex Therapist, Certified Emotionally Focused Couples Therapist. She is the founder and owner of Healing Moments Counseling, a practice that focuses on sex therapy, attachment, social justice, and all types of relationship constellations. 

Kimberly is a Washington State Supervisor, an AAMFT Supervisor, an AASECT Certified Sex Therapist Supervisor and an EFT Supervisor. Kimberly also provides sex supervision through the Modern Sex Therapy Institute where folx train to be sexual educators and therapists. Kim additionally serves on the MSAA Health Advisory Counsel.

Kimberly is a national speaker, speaking on topics of faith, sexuality, grief, coping with Multiple Sclerosis, high tone pelvic floor, menopause and more! She is a gifted teacher and emphasizes the freedom that comes from education!

Contact Us

Relationship Therapy, Sex Therapy, and Individual Therapy via Telehealth available in Bellevue, Bellingham, Edmonds, Lake Stevens, Seattle, Spokane.

Couples Therapy and Sex Therapy is also offered via Telehealth available in Clearwater, Gainesville, Naples, Orlando, St. Augustine, Saint Petersburg, Sarasota, and Tampa.

Kimberly Castelo, LMFT-S, CST-S, CEFT-T&S


Kyle Benson, LMFT


Nika Gannon, MSW, LICSW


Dara Foti, Clinical Couple and Family Intern


Lily Myers, Clinical Individual and Couple Intern


Jennifer Goldsmith, Clinical Couple, Individual, and Family Intern


Kristy Fisher, Clinical Individual and Couple Intern


Hyacinth Kearney, Clinical Individual, Couple, and Family Intern


Claire Fuller, Clinical Individual, Couple, and Family Intern