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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

Sex life

It’s not unusual to worry that your epilepsy might affect your sex life. But many people with epilepsy have normal sexual relationships.

Seizures during sex

Some women have told us they worry that they will have a seizure when they are having sex. There is no research to show that you are more likely to have a seizure during sex than at any other time. But if you notice an increase in seizures related to sex, it is 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.

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

• Stress 
• Illness
• Tiredness
• Alcohol

Here are some more possible causes of sexual problems if you have epilepsy:

  • Your epilepsy medicine might make you lose interest in sex
  • Anxiety about seizures might make you lose interest in sex
  • Your seizures might affect the way that your body releases hormones, making it difficult to get or stay aroused

If you are worried about your sex life, it’s worth talking to your family doctor.
They may look at possible physical and psychosocial causes for your sexual problems. If they think that your problems relate to how you are feeling, they might refer you for therapies such as counselling or cognitive behaviour therapy.

If your doctor feels that your epilepsy or epilepsy medicine are causing your problems, they may refer you to an epilepsy specialist. The epilepsy specialist could make changes to your epilepsy medicine to see if that helps.

Epilepsy Action has more information about epilepsy medicines.

More information about counselling and cognitive therapy is available from NHS Choices.
Website: nhs.uk

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. 


Epilepsy Action wishes to thank Penny Burt, Nurse Specialist (Epilepsy), Royal Victoria Infirmary, Newcastle for her contribution to this information. Penny has declared no conflict of interest.

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

  • Updated August 2014
    To be reviewed August 2017

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