More than half of all stroke survivors (57%) say their sex life changed since their stroke, according to our new findings. Around a third (32%) of these reported that they are too scared to have sex. This reluctance may be down to their fears that simply having sex again may bring on another attack, which was highlighted in previous research.

Today, when millions of other couples celebrate romance and love, we're highlighting the negative impact of stroke on survivors’ intimate relationships and sex lives. As part of our Rebuilding Lives campaign, we want more stroke survivors to talk about this sensitive but important issue as part of their recovery.

Bridget Bergin, Executive Director of Stroke Support at the Stroke Association, said: “When someone has a stroke their life changes in an instant and it’s very common for it to affect your relationships, including your sex life. But sex and relationships are an important part of many people’s lives and there’s no reason why this should stop, as it can be a significant part of rebuilding their lives after stroke. We know that with the right support and therapies, you can overcome the challenges you experience in your intimate relationship after stroke.”

Professor Martin James, Clinical Director of the King’s College Stroke Programme, said: “A stroke has many effects on things that other people take for granted, and when we talk about restoring the whole person after a stroke, that includes helping people to return to a fulfilling sex life. Many people say how they struggle with their relationships and their ability to enjoy sex after a stroke but there is help and support available. Healthcare professionals are often reluctant to raise the issue, but our National Guidelines encourage clinicians to ask about sex, as one more way of supporting people with stroke to make the best recovery that they can.”

Read our sex after stroke guide which offers practical advice and sources of help.

Join My Stroke Guide, our online community of stroke survivors. You can find out how others manage their recovery and access information and support 24/7.

Our website, Stroke Helpline and My Stroke Guide provide unparalleled support, information and guidance for thousands of stroke survivors and their loved ones. These vital services are by voluntary donations, and we need your support to continue to be here for the people who need our help most. Please make a donation today.

Other sources of help and support

  • Different Strokes (UK) for videos and written resources about sex and intimacy for younger stroke survivors.
  • Relate (UK) for information about sex and relationship therapy.
  • Headway (UK) for resources about sex and relationships after brain injury.
  • Outsiders – a social, peer support and dating club run by, and for socially and physically disabled people.
  
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