Sex and epilepsy: Things you must know

Sex is a rather intimate experience. It comes with its set of apprehensions, fears and mystery around what to expect or what to do really. This emotional struggle may be tougher for women with certain health conditions. With the stigma attached to epilepsy, women battling this condition may naturally be a little more concerned  about their sex life. Having a new partner can also make women with epilepsy nervous. The combination of sex and epilepsy can be an issue at times, but it doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy sex!

HealthShots connected with Dr Amit Mutha, Consultant-Sexual Medicine and Andrology, SL Raheja Hospital Mahim – A Fortis Associate, to know how epilepsy can affect sexual health.

sex and epilepsy
Epilepsy can impact your sex life. Image courtesy: Freepik

What is epilepsy?

Epilepsy is an abnormal electrical discharge of the brain cells, says Dr Mutha. The neurological condition makes people more susceptible to having recurrent seizures that are not provoked.

Epilepsy can affect sex life

For men, epilepsy can have an adverse impact on sexual activity as it can cause difficulties related to erection, lack of sexual desire and premature ejaculation. As for women, it can cause lack of sexual desire (here’s what low libido says about your health). Frigidity (cannot attain orgasm) can also be seen, says the expert. The good thing is that most people with epilepsy can have normal reproductive and sexual lives. Only a minority of women with epilepsy (20 percent to 30 percent) have problems with libido, orgasm and arousal, according to National Library of Medicine.

Epilepsy medicines and sex life

When you take medicines for a health condition, you might experience the side effects later in life. The same goes for anti-epilepsy medications.
Dr Mutha says that long-term intake of anti-epilepsy medications like Phenytoin, Sodium Valproate and Carbamazepine can lead to erectile dysfunction and decreased libido due to reduction in sex hormones.

Tips for people with epilepsy to enjoy sex

There might be some challenges on the way, but people with epilepsy can have a satisfactory sexual life too Here’s what people with epilepsy can do!

1. Take your anti-epileptic medication regularly

Yes, the medicines can create some problems in your sex life, but you can ask your doctor to prescribe anti-epileptic medications which have lesser negative impact on the sexual function.

2. Consult your sexual medicine expert

It’s not just a neurologist that you should be in touch with, but also a sexual medicine expert. The doctor can suggest appropriate medicines and lifestyle modifications which can improve sexual functioning and health.

3. Don’t have fear around epilepsy and sex

There are times when people can have fear or anxiety around sex and epilepsy. They might have concerns about having a seizure during sex. Just don’t overthink and simply enjoy the moment.

sex and epilepsy
Talk to your partner about epilepsy. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock

4. Open up to your partner

You should let your partner know that sometimes you have seizures. You should also explain what could happen. This way they will know what to expect when you have an epileptic attack (how to manage seizures).

You should also avoid situations which might trigger and cause an epileptic attack. So, find out what triggers your epileptic attack.

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