Sex and intimacy

Stroke can change your body. It can also change the way you feel about yourself.

Stroke has changed my sexual desire. Will this get better?

Stroke can change your body. It can also change the way you feel about yourself. This may affect how you see your own sexuality. It may take some time to adjust to these changes.

As your body heals, your sexual feelings and desire for sex will slowly return.

Most people can return to a healthy sex life after a stroke.

If you are taking medicines, talk to your family doctor. Sometimes, medicines can change your desire for sex.

How can I be intimate with my partner safely after a stroke?

Start with talking openly with your partner. Communication you’re your partner is important. Share how the stroke has affected you both. Share your feelings. Talk about what sexual activity would be comfortable for you.

If you are not ready for sex, you can simply enjoy being close with your partner. You can be close with touching, kissing and hugging.  

Your sex life might be different after a stroke but it is not the end of it. Take time to explore what works best for you and your partner. You may find it helpful speaking to a sex therapist. They can offer counselling and therapy relating to sex and relationships.

Video credit: National Stroke Foundation

Talking and sharing openly can help you and your partner manage any challenges. You can still enjoy a loving, complete relationship!

The following resources have been created to help answer questions you may have about intimacy and sex after stroke

Having read the information in this section, consider the following

  • Do I know if it is safe to have sex again?
  • Do I know who to talk to about intimacy after my stroke (for example: equipment, different positions or medications)?
  • If I am unable to have intercourse, do I know how to be intimate?
  • If I am unable to speak after my stroke, do I know how best to express my feelings?

Where to get more information, help and support:

Toronto Central Healthline


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