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Vol 20 (2022): Continuous Publishing
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Published online: 2022-06-23

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Post-stroke sexual dysfunctions

Jadwiga Mosiołek1, Paweł Jakubczak2, Anna Choma1
Journal of Sexual and Mental Health 2022;20:62-68.

Abstract

Stroke is 3rd cause of death, after heart diseases and tumors, and the most common cause of permanent disability in people over 40 years of age. In Poland, disability after stroke, affects 70% of patients and is definitely higher than in the other developed countries. Information that stroke affects young, sexually active persons is becoming more and more common, however this aspect of patients’ functionality falls into the background, both for patients and specialists, as it seems to be less important than other disorders. These patients report the decrease of all sexual functions such as libido, erectile function, orgasm, vaginal lubrication and sexual satisfaction; the frequency of intercourse decreases significantly. The sexual dysfunction in these patients depends on many factors. Among them, we can distinguish between the extent of the focus of the stroke, the method of treatment and the level of general post-stroke disability. Some of the sexual disfunctions are temporary in the initial period they result mainly neurological deficit (aphasia, movement disorders, paresis, limbs paralysis) later on, psychological factors may start playing a significant role. These disturbances also show some dynamics over time. The etiology of sexual disorders after stroke is multi-functional. There are organic factors and also psychosocial and psychological. Among psychological factors, depression, anxiety and fear that the stroke can come back can lead to the decrease of one’s sexual drive. Sexual dysfunction in patients after a stroke may be associated with a malfunction of the genitourinary system, including urinary incontinence. Rehabilitation this patients require interdisciplinary actions.

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