There’s sex life after a stroke, doctors sayBy Philip C. Tubeza
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Sex need not be forbidden for someone who has suffered a stroke.
The Philippine Neurological Association (PNA) on Tuesday said stroke victims retained their sex drive and could usually have sex as soon as one month after their incident provided they take their medicine regularly.
And, no, they don’t have to take their blood pressure or BP before getting amorous.
PNA president Dr. Annette Bautista said one’s genitals were not “paralyzed” following a stroke unless the stroke was massive and affected the brain.
“That (genitals) is not paralyzed. The usual effect (after a stroke) is psychological… one thinks one cannot perform as well but that’s not true,” Bautista said in a press conference in Manila.
“It is not actually affected, unless of course one had a massive stroke, like in the entire left side of the brain and you can no longer talk to the patient because he no longer understands,” she said.
Sex not contraindication
“Of course, he would also no longer understand the meaning of sex,” she added.
Bautista said the chances of a stroke victim suffering another incident were high but not in the middle of lovemaking if one regularly took his/her medicine.
“The chances of having another stroke after a first stroke are quite high. Let’s say for the regular population, it’s like 20 percent. That goes up to 50 percent if you have a history of stroke,” she said.
“But is (sex) forbidden? No, sex is not contraindicated in stroke patients. The sex drive is usually not affected, especially for men. The sexual urge and desire are still there,” she said.
“(Sex) is not contraindicated as long as the BP is controlled. So you take your medication because we all know that for every sexual act, the nervous system will make your blood pressure increase and your heart rate high. That’s normal in sexual intercourse,” Bautista said.
Take your medicine—regularly
“You should anticipate that. And if you regularly take your maintenance medicine, your blood pressure will not go up to dangerous levels,” she added.
“You know why a lot of Filipinos have a stroke? Because they think that if their (BP) becomes normal, it’s OK to stop taking their medicine. That’s what’s wrong,” Bautista said.
“So if they regularly take their medicine and (their BP) is 120 over 80, in the course of a month you know that it’s controlled and you don’t have to say, ‘Oh, we have to take our BP before (having sex)..,’ that’s so off,” she said.
Bautista said it was usually the women stroke victims who were psychologically affected and had concerns about sex.
“Their feeling is like ‘I’m old and I can no longer perform. I will not have an orgasm.’ It’s not actually affected, it’s more psychological,” she said.
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