6. Support for you the carer > Intimacy and relationships

Intimacy and relationships

1) Introduction

couple hugging

After stroke there may be areas of  the brain, which if damaged, cause physical and emotional changes. This could make resuming your physical relationship difficult. Intimacy,sexual feelings and relationships can be difficult to discuss with your partner let alone a stranger. Some couples are naturally more open about discussing sex together than others regardless of a stroke. However these feelings are part of normal life and your GP or Stroke Nurse are used to dealing with these kind of issues as part of their professional role. They can be approached in confidence, without fear of embarrassment, and can offer a great deal of practical and emotional help and support.

The good news is that if the person had a normal sexual relationship before, most stroke patients can resume normal sexual activity if they wish to. Although at first there may be barriers which will be discussed in this section of the website.There is no medical reason to avoid sex. If the person has had a haemorrhagic stroke or bleed into the brain and has high blood pressure they should consult a doctor for advice.

It is important that you express your feelings to each other. If the person you care for is your partner the following information may help when the person is ready to continue or resume intimacy.