Sex After Stroke

  • 0
  • November 19, 2010

Unfortunately, stroke takes victims every day. However, many people carry on with their lives after stroke. Despite that several things have changed, and life is not the same as before. Especially for stroke patients in their 30s and 40s, who still have many years of life ahead of them and will naturally feel upset to think of living all those years, dealing with the burdens of post stroke impediments. One concern that many survivors in that age group have, is sex after stroke. Many patients fear that stroke means the end of their sexual life.

There is very little information available about sexuality after a stroke. Initially after a stroke, sex is understandably furthest from the mind of the patient; given the stress and strong emotions he or she is dealing with. However, as the time passes, the recovery progresses, and the patient often begins to have sexual feelings again and may want to resume sexual activity. This is very normal and should be encouraged. Sex is generally not damaging to the health of the stroke patient and it can have positive effects on the patient’s well-being. It can improve the self-esteem and is certainly an important source of pleasure, relaxation and intimacy for the patient and his or her partner.

It is unrealistic to assume that the sexual ability will remain unchanged by the stroke.  Frustration is more than often, the first emotion patients will encounter when attempting to resume their sexual life. In fact, there are several ways through which stroke affects a person’s ability to have sex. Psychologically, the patient may fear getting another stroke during sex. However this theory stays unfounded and is more of a myth, as sexual excitement does increase blood pressure but not sufficiently to cause a stroke in most cases.

Commonly though, stroke leads to depression and loss of interest in the pleasures of life, including of course, desire for sex. For instance, the changes in physical appearance often affect the patient’s view of his or her own sexual attractiveness and results in loss of confidence, hence a reluctance to resume sexual activity.

Stroke can affect the brain causing the patient to lose the ability to speak or understand others and he or she may also have difficulty communicating sexual needs to his or her partner.

Physical weakness and fatigue in stroke patients can also have impact on his/her ability to perform the sexual act. For instance, the patient will not have the physical endurance that he or she had prior to the stroke.

Here below is a short guide for those who wonder if sex is allowed after stroke or not.

Do not rush things

Patients should take one step at a time. Make sure that they are relaxed. Be aware that the recovery process after stroke is a long path and it might be understandably impossible to have sex right after it. Patients should not rush things only because they feel guilty about their partner. As much as they should make sure that their partner understands the situation as well and doesn’t rush them either.

Turn in sex position

In several cases a part of the body remains paralyzed. This should not be an obstacle; the most difficult seems to be getting adapted mentally to those changes. However, the patient and his/her partner are still the same persons so it doesn’t really matter from a purely physical point of view. Patients should then look for new sex positions to cope with the disability problem. For instance, if one of the legs and the hands is paralyzed, the side by side position can be a way to deal with it without compromising the pleasure. Some couples find that supporting their weaker side with pillows helps while having sex. Overall, patients should make sure that the stroke victim is positioned so that the healthy side is uppermost.

Other question marks

For men who have suffered from stroke, there is always a doubt if they will be able to have an erection after a stroke. In general, it is possible, as the nerves and blood supply to the penis still work well enough to give an erection. However this still depends very much on the type of stroke and in some cases, the medications used after a stroke may also prevent a man from having an erection. Stroke patients then may want to consider using Viagra or Cialis, which is possible, but only six months after the stroke.

In addition, some natural medicine like tongkat ali may help boost libido. Here you can find more information about tongkat ali.

For women of child-bearing age who have had stroke, it is important to avoid contraceptives with estrogen as they bring a slightly higher risk of causing strokes.

Do not believe myths

What we want to convey to patients, is that an amazing and satisfactory sex life is still totally possible after stroke. That they should not believe myths that say sex after stroke is forbidden because it leads to another stroke. Patients should simply make sure that they and his/her partner are feeling comfortable, take it easy, and everything will be just fine.

If patients feel they cannot cope with it alone, they may want to seek help. Many physicians may not be very comfortable addressing these concerns and some patients may also feel too shy to bring up the subject with doctors. Two other solutions are available: either going to see a sex therapist or trying to call a teaching hospital in the nearest area, as they may have a clinic that offers a more affordable counseling fee.


  • Ms J says:

    I am a 42 year old female who suffered a mild stroke as of January 2009. I returned to work as of April 2009. As of 2011, I am re-dating. I am having difficulty obtaining an orgasm even with stimulation. I take the following meds- plavix, asprin, zoloft, zocor, klonopin, synthroid, simvastatin, multi-vitamin, iron supplement, famotidine, hydrochlorathyiazide and vitamin d

  • cris says:

    You need to take your time and concentrate on what you are doing and feeling. Love the man you having sex with.
    I don’t mind you to share with me in a profound way on one to one. In the mean time i am feeling with you and would like to assist you as much as i can with the hope for us to reach your goal.

  • Kelly says:

    I am wondering, If the man I am seeing.. He is 45 years old and had a stroke, that effected his left side of his body a year ago…But before that he had heart surgery, on a valve in his heart (not a heart attack) So I asked him if everything still worked meaning, Can you still get an erection??.. He said ” I Don’t Know”??… Does that mean he doesn’t get an erection anymore??…He was serious when he answered me, I found it very strange, that he wouldn’t know…I figured he wake up with one in the morning at least??..I have not slept in the same bed with him yet, but he honestly has not had an erection in over a year is this normal??? …I am just very worried that he might be sterile or impatint, is that possible??

  • Sheila says:

    Hi. I had a Wallenberg syndrome stroke on July 13, 2013. I was in the hospital for four days and in rehab for six days thanks to the grace of God. I experienced a horrible neck pain for about five days the prior week, which I thought came from sleeping on my neck wrong, and the following week I had extreme vertigo where I was jerking violently to the left and I needed assistance walking. After that my left eye drooped and I noticed I couldn’t feel heat or cold on the right side. I’m 50 and I’m determined not to let this get me down. I refused to use a walker so I adjusted my walk, and three weeks later I am now back to wearing my platforms. I worked out strenuously prior to this stroke and I’m a person who absolutely refuses to let anyone feel sorry for me (unfortunately not my children treat me as if nothing happened and they don’t seem to understand that while I may look 100%, I still have problems, I still have no sensation in my right side and neck pain) but my REAL question is, it’s been three weeks since the stroke, I have two slipped discs in my neck, WHEN CAN I RESUME SEX??

  • naveen says:

    Hi my age 42 and I got a mild stroke on 6 April 2014 in my right sight of the body I was hospitalized for 4 days and now i had recovered 90% now question is that can i have sex normaly becus the irrection is very less and for few seconds that everything is over. How can this be normal and when??

Find out if NeuroAiD™ is right for you. Ask your questions