Stroke Training and Awareness Resources (STARs)

Sexuality: Scenario – Les

What is sexuality?

On completion of this case scenario you should have an understanding of:

  • sexuality after stroke
  • the need for health professionals to recognise that it is everyone’s role to provide some degree of information and support as appropriate
Sexuality should always involve intercourse

Many people enjoy sexual activity without it leading to intercourse. This may include activities such as kissing, cuddling, massage or oral sex.

Sex must be natural and spontaneous

People may benefit from planning sexual activity. This can be especially useful if there are problems as a result of a medical condition or a disability and can help to make sex more comfortable and enjoyable.

For some people sex is the only intimacy within their relationship

This can lead to feelings of loss and sadness if the ability to have sex is compromised.

People with disabilities are less sexual than people without disabilities

People with a disability can and do have the same sexual desires and needs as those without a disability.

Sex is for younger people

Many people continue to enjoy an active sex life into middle and old age.

Both men and women should initiate sexual activity

Both men and women should be able to initiate sexual activity if this is what they want.

If sex is not good there must be something wrong with the relationship

People can have a good relationship but, for various reasons, find that there are times when their sex life is disrupted.

Sexual desire decreases with age

Both men and women may experience problems in middle to old age e.g. libido may diminish, menopausal and post-menopausal women may experience problems with vaginal dryness and loss of sensation. However, there are solutions to the problems and many older people continue to enjoy an active sex life.

Page last reviewed: 28 Feb 2020