Multiple SclerosisMS Signs and Symptoms

Let's Talk About Multiple Sclerosis Signs and Symptoms

MS symptoms can range from the totally obvious to the easily dismissed. We help you figure out what to look for.

    Our Pro PanelMS Signs and Symptoms

    We went to some of the nation's top MS experts to bring you the most scientific and up-to-date information possible.

    Meghan Beier, Ph.D.

    Meghan Beier, Ph.D.Assistant Professor of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and Clinical Neuropsychologist

    Johns Hopkins Medicine Multiple Sclerosis Center
    Bruce Cohen, M.D.

    Bruce Cohen, M.D.Chief of MS/Neuroimmunology, Department of Neurology

    Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
    Neeta Garg, M.D.

    Neeta Garg, M.D.Associate Professor of Clinical Neurology

    University of Miami Miller School of Medicine

    Frequently Asked QuestionsMS Signs and Symptoms

    Which symptoms are most common in MS?

    People with MS report a range of symptoms including eye pain and vision loss (known as optic neuritis), as well as cognitive issues, problems with walking and balance, chronic fatigue, spasticity, bladder and bowel problems, and depression, too.

    Is my depression an emotional reaction to MS, or part of the disease?

    Possibly both. Some studies link the chronic inflammation that comes with autoimmune disorders with increased risk for depression. Then again, you might feel overwhelmed dealing with a lifelong condition like MS, and the fatigue that comes with it only exacerbates the problem. If you’re feeling depressed, don’t hesitate: Tell your doctor, and ask for help.

    If I’m diagnosed with RRMS, will my symptoms definitely progress?

    A few decades ago, almost everyone with RRMS went on to develop a more progressive form of the disease within 10 years of being diagnosed. Now, with advances in MS therapies called disease-modifying treatments (DMTs), typical symptoms might not progress for decades—or even at all.

    Is my sex life over if I have MS?

    While you might face new challenges in the bedroom, like sustaining an erection (men) or reduced clitoral sensation (women), speak with your doctor about getting your sex life back on track. And, remember, fertility is not directly affected if you’re trying to start a family.

    Patrick Sullivan

    Patrick Sullivan


    Patrick Sullivan is a freelance content writer and copywriter for healthcare providers, publications and brands.