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of everyone affected by epilepsy

Sex, women and epilepsy

These pages are about women and epilepsy in the UK. If you are looking for information about women and epilepsy in another country, please contact your local epilepsy organisation

You might be worried that your epilepsy will affect your sex life, and for some people it will, but for many people it won’t.

Seizures during sex

Some women have told us they worry about having a seizure during sex. This is in fact rare. But if you notice an increase in seizures relating to sex, it’s worth talking to your doctor.

Sexual problems

Any woman can have problems with sex from time to time. These can include problems getting aroused, having an orgasm, or having little interest in sex.

These are some common causes of sexual problems that can affect anyone:

  • Stress
  • Illness
  • Tiredness
  • Alcohol

If you have epilepsy and are having sexual problems these could also be related to:

  • Your epilepsy medicine
  • Anxiety about your seizures
  • The way your seizures affect your hormones

If you have any concerns about your sex life, it’s worth talking to your family doctor. They can look for physical or other causes for your problems. If they think your problems relate to how you are feeling, they may be able to refer you for talking therapies such as counselling or cognitive behaviour therapy.

More information about counselling and cognitive therapy is available from NHS Choices.

Long-term conditions affect families and friends, as well as the person with the condition. See Carers Trust for information on relationships.

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 our Epilepsy Action Helpline freephone on 0808 800 5050. 

Code: 
B017.05

Epilepsy Action would like to thank Penny Burt, Nurse Specialist (Epilepsy), Dr Yvonne Hart, Consultant Neurologist, Newcastle Upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, and Michael Marsh, Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist, King’s College Hospital, for their contributions to this booklet.

The following interests have been declared:

Penny Burt has received sponsorship to attend epilepsy conferences from UCB Pharma, GlaxoSmithKline, Desitin and Eisai.

Yvonne Hart has received payments for lectures given, advisory work and/or sponsorship to attend epilepsy conferences from UCB Pharma, GlaxoSmithKline, Bial, Desitin and Eisai.

Epilepsy Action does not believe these interests have influenced the content of this information in any way.

Michael Marsh has declared no conflict of interest.

This information has been produced under the terms of The Information Standard.

  • Updated February 2017
    To be reviewed February 2020

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