Many people who have had a stroke subsequently experience problems in their sex lives. At least 6 out of 10 people suffer from this. Yet little attention is often paid to it.
Recovery after a stroke: sex is often not talked about
Recovery from a stroke is often about the physical side of the story. However, there is also a spiritual component. That also includes sex and intimacy. If that disappears, many people find it problematic.
Sexual problems after a cerebral infarction
The sexual problems that arise after a cerebral infarction can be diverse. These could be:
- Sexual inhibition
- An insatiable hunger for sex
- Erectile dysfunction
- Not being able to have an orgasm or almost no orgasm
Man wants sex more often, the woman who takes care of her partner is too tired
A common problem is that a man who has had a cerebral infarction wants much more sex than before. His wife, who is often given additional care responsibilities, is often much too tired as a result. Worries about the situation can also get in the way of a healthy sexual relationship.
Sex is also a way to express yourself, especially if you cannot or have difficulty speaking
People who suffer from aphasia after a stroke have difficulty expressing themselves in words. In many cases, sex becomes the way to do that. It is a way of communicating with the partner. However, the problem arises when that partner does not have that need or has much less of it. The situation often changes too. A man who was never so free, now suddenly becomes so. When people have to adapt to that situation after years of relationship (sometimes decades), it is often very difficult.
Talking about the difficulties after a stroke
The only solution to sex problems that arise after a stroke is to communicate about it. However, that is often easier said than done, especially because people with aphasia have great difficulty expressing themselves in words. An aphasia center can help with this. But consulting a doctor, sexologist or general practitioner can also help. They can explain what causes the changes. In the hospital, doctors and nurses should also inform people with a cerebral infarction and their partners in advance about this problem so that both know that this can happen.