Head injury and sexual dysfunction

Brain Inj. 1996 Oct;10(10):703-17. doi: 10.1080/026990596123972.


An extensive review of the head injury and human sexuality literature was completed, to augment an understanding of the impact of traumatic head injury on sexual functioning. Despite clinical evidence that sexual dysfunction after head injury is prevalent and of great import, sexual concerns have been neglected in much of the post-traumatic head injury and rehabilitation literature. Characteristics of head injury concerning cerebral physiology, post-traumatic sequelae, and the effects on sexual functioning are examined. Rehabilitation and family/spouse literature was also examined for information on sexuality. The majority of this article reviews research on sexual sequelae after head injury, such as impulsiveness/inappropriateness, changes in libido and sexual frequency, global sexual difficulties, and specific sexual dysfunctions. Treatment models for the sexual problems after head injury are also reviewed and found to be limited in number. Treatment issues and suggestions are addressed. This article provides information about the sexual problems of head-injured patients to facilitate the development of diagnostic and intervention programmes.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Brain / physiology
  • Brain Injuries / complications*
  • Brain Injuries / rehabilitation
  • Family
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Libido
  • Male
  • Sexual Behavior
  • Sexual Dysfunction, Physiological / etiology*
  • Sexual Dysfunction, Physiological / therapy