Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Abstract Sexual dysfunction is a well-known complication of chronic somatic illness. Eighty-six consecutive epileptic outpatients, 38 men and 48 women, without accompanying disorders, were studied. The frequency and symptoms of sexual dysfunction were compared with results from previous studies using identical sexological methodology. The previous studies were of diabetic patients and healthy controls. Eight percent of the epileptic men reported a sexual dysfunction compared to 44% of the diabetics and 13% of the controls. Epileptic women, diabetic women, and controls showed no significant differences in sexual dysfunction (29%, 28%, and 25%, respectively). In both sexes, the sexual function measured by frequencies of coitus and masturbation was normal. Most patients had good control of epileptic attacks on a treatment of monotherapy. Hormonal status was generally within normal limits in both men and women; only a few minor differences were found and they showed no correlation with sexual dysfunction. Psychologically and socially the patients did not differ appreciably from normals, and they exhibited a high degree of disease acceptance. This study, using a biopsychosocial approach in understanding sexual dysfunctions, is in contrast with previous, mainly uncontrolled, studies of epileptic patients that reported high frequencies of “hyposexuality” in males. We conclude that epilepsy does not necessarily increase the risk of sexual dysfunction in male or female.
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