Just as epilepsy may affect your performance at work or alter how you drive a car, it can affect your performance during sex. While the exact reasons aren’t entirely understood, epilepsy may impact your sex life in the following ways:
- Decreased interest in sex
- Difficulty becoming aroused
- Pain during intercourse for women
- Trouble sustaining erections
- Seizures during or after sex
Epilepsy and Low Libido
Low sex drive is very common in people with epilepsy. Decreased libido is thought to be a result of hormonal changes, due to both the disorder itself and the effects of epilepsy medications. Even so, once epilepsy is controlled with appropriate medications most people experience heightened libido and are better able to enjoy sex.
While it may take a little trial and error to find the right combination of anti-seizure drugs to control your epilepsy yet not interfere with your sex life, it can be done.
Tips to a Better Sex Life With Epilepsy
Though strenuous physical activity and powerful emotions can trigger seizures in some people, there’s no concrete evidence that sex itself causes seizures. If you have epilepsy, there are many things you can do to enjoy sex despite your seizure disorder.
- Talk to your doctor. Don’t be embarrassed or shy. Together, you can get to the bottom of what’s causing problems in your sex life. There may be a simple, and highly treatable, explanation for your difficulties — other medical conditions including diabetes, high blood pressure, or thyroid problems may actually be to blame, rather than your epilepsy. If you don’t talk about it and fail to do some investigating, you’ll never know what the problem is — or how to fix it.
- Get seizures under control. People whose seizures are well-controlled may experience less anxiety about sex, and hence have fewer sexual problems.
Try other medications. Work with an endocrinologist (a hormone specialist), along with your neurologist, to balance good seizure control with a suitable level of sex hormones. Changing medications, or using the same medication at a different dose, may control your seizures without compromising your sex life.
- Consider medications to improve sex. If you are a woman who experiences vaginal dryness, your doctor can prescribe a special lubricant or cream to alleviate pain during sex. Effective medications can also be prescribed for men who experience difficulty with erections.
- Consider sex therapy. A sex therapist can help you deal with anxiety about having seizures during sex and may also help treat any underlying depression that could be affecting your feelings about sex.
You can enjoy sex despite epilepsy. Work closely with your doctors to find the right combinations of medications and seek out additional advice and support if necessary so you can have the healthy, happy sex life you deserve.