There are some particular things you need to know if you’re a male with epilepsy.
- Your sex life
Puberty is when your body starts to change from a child to an adult. You begin to produce sex hormones, which make your body change. For example, your voice gets deeper, you start to grow hair on your face and other parts of your body and your penis and balls grow.
You might also feel stronger emotions and have mood swings.
Most boys begin puberty between the ages of 10 and 15, but some start earlier and some later – everyone grows and changes at different rates.
Can puberty cause epilepsy?
Puberty itself doesn’t cause epilepsy. However, some types of epilepsy syndromes usually begin during teenage years. A syndrome is a group of signs and symptoms that, added together, suggest a particular medical condition. Epilepsy syndromes that may begin during teenage years include juvenile myoclonic epilepsy and juvenile absence epilepsy.
There’s lots of pressure these days around having sex. It’s really important to know that if and when you want to have sex, this should be completely your choice. It should not be something you do because someone else thinks it’s a good idea. This is of course true whether you have epilepsy or not.
It’s not unusual to worry that your epilepsy might affect your sexual relationships. But sex is not a problem for many people with epilepsy.
Seizures during sex
Some people with epilepsy do worry that they’ll have a seizure during sex. But it’s very rare to have a seizure triggered by sex. It’s important that you don’t feel stressed, worried or pressurised into having sex. Stress and worry might make you more likely to have a seizure.
Most people have problems with their sex life from time to time. Problems can include having little interest in sex or finding it difficult to get and keep an erection. Common causes of sexual problems for men include stress, tiredness, illness and alcohol. If you have epilepsy and are having problems with your sex life, there could be some other reasons too.
Here are some examples:
- Your own feelings about your epilepsy might make you lose interest in sex
- You may be taking certain epilepsy medicine which can cause some men to have less interest in sex
- You might have lower levels of the sex hormone testosterone than other men. This could be due to epilepsy itself or some epilepsy medicines
If you would like to see this information with references, visit the Advice and Information references section of our website. If you are unable to access the internet, please contact the Epilepsy Action Helpline on freephone 0808 800 5050.
Epilepsy Action would like to thank epilepsy specialist nurses Neil Williamson at University Hospital Lewisham and Ruth McNulty at St Luke’s Hospital, Bradford for their contribution to this information. They have declared no conflict of interest.