Sexual outcome after epilepsy surgery

Epilepsy Behav. 2003 Jun;4(3):268-78. doi: 10.1016/s1525-5050(03)00085-4.


The aim of this study was to provide a description of patient-perceived sexual change after temporal lobe resection (TLR) and extratemporal resection (ETR). Fifty-eight TLR and sixteen ETR patients completed a semistructured interview and questionnaire assessing sexual change after epilepsy surgery. Five areas of sexual functioning were addressed: sexual drive, thoughts/fantasies, interest, masturbation, and activity. Each patient's perception of sexual changes relative to perceived levels of normal functioning was assessed. Characteristically, the onset of sexual change occurred in the first three postoperative months and persisted to the time of interview. A postoperative sexual change was significantly more likely to be reported by patients who had undergone TLR (64%) than ETR (25%). In the TLR group, sexual change was significantly more frequent following right-sided resections. Marked sexual change occurred more frequently in females than males. Postoperative sexual change is an important outcome feature after epilepsy surgery. The predisposition of TLR patients to postoperative change provides further evidence for a temporal lobe contribution to sexual function.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Epilepsy, Temporal Lobe / surgery*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Functional Laterality / physiology
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations*
  • Male
  • Neurosurgical Procedures / psychology*
  • Pilot Projects
  • Postoperative Care
  • Postoperative Period
  • Preoperative Care
  • Sexual Behavior / psychology*
  • Sexual Dysfunctions, Psychological / diagnosis*
  • Sexual Dysfunctions, Psychological / epidemiology
  • Sexual Dysfunctions, Psychological / etiology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires