Hi i’m new to this site, i as far as i know do not have MS, however i am very worried and scared. I am now 28 and for the last 7 years on and off i have had a numbness in my left leg and genitals…nowhere else. Occasionally i get a shooting pain down the left leg too, over the 7 years it has gradually become a constant numbing feeling. I went to my doctor 4 months ago and he booked me in for a MRI, i immediately panicked and spent weeks having panic attacks and anxiety issues, i developed eye floaters and i am incredibly on edge. I went to my MRI and could not go through with it i felt claustrophobic and i am now looking into attending a open MRI scan in London due to my claustrophobia. Are numb genitals a symptom of MS, is all this anxiety?

Hi Paul,

Although numb pelvic area can occur with MS - in both men and women - it seems unlikely you would have had this but nothing else for some seven years now.

MS symptoms are caused by lesions (patches of inflammation) in the brain and/or spinal cord. Where the lesions form is pretty random, but the symptoms the person experiences correspond to where they are. A feature of MS is that even in relatively mild and stable cases, you do get more lesions, in more places, over time. Which would usually mean that in the course of seven years, you would experience more variety of symptoms, due to lesions arising in different places. Not just one symptom the whole time.

I’m not a doctor, but I’m thinking if a symptom’s been in one place, but nowhere else, for seven years, perhaps with some gradual worsening, it could point to some kind of mechanical impingement, like a ‘slipped’ (herniated) disc, or a bone spur, rather than neurological disease.

I wouldn’t read too much into the eye floaters, as the timing strongly suggests they’re related to stress and anxiety, or being hyper-vigilant after too much Googling, if you didn’t notice them the previous seven years!

Do you know if your MRI (the one you didn’t have, but are still hoping to) was to have been of your brain, or just your spine? If they’re not planning on doing your brain, that would indicate MS is not a strong suspect, at the moment, and they are looking to see if there is some sort of skeletal abnormality that could be pressing on a nerve.

People who are very anxious about an MRI, or any medical procedure, can sometimes get a one-off prescription for a sedative such as diazepam (valium). They won’t make you unconscious - just calm you down. It’s worth asking your GP, to see if this is an option for you.


Have you thought of booking in to see a hypnotherapist to help you with the claustrophobia? you could also still take meds to help as Tina suggests?

Leah :slight_smile: