Dating and Marriage
Dating and Marriage
Men and women who have epilepsy marry and have children just like other people. However, as a group they tend to have a slightly lower marriage and reproduction rate and some men may report a lower sex drive. If you are a man with epilepsy and you are troubled by what seems to you like a reduced sex drive or inability to have sexual intercourse, check with your doctor. Medication changes or other treatment may help.
Both men and women with epilepsy are sometimes concerned that sexual activity itself might cause seizures; however, research does not support this belief except in extremely rare cases.
Close relationships usually pose another question: At what point do I explain that I have epilepsy?
There's no right answer for everybody, of course, but in general, disclosing the fact of having epilepsy seems to create the least difficulty when it happens after people have had a chance to get to know each other, rather than on the first date.
If you have frequent seizures, you may want to tell your friend about them earlier in the relationship so he or she will know what is happening and what to do if one should occur.
Although it may seem difficult at first, talking about epilepsy to other people usually becomes easier with practice. Your confidence and feelings of well-being will grow as you become more and more comfortable with what you're saying and how you're saying it.
Sometimes people with epilepsy worry about whether their tendency to have seizures will be passed on to their children. While there is a definite genetic factor in some types of epilepsy, this doesn't mean that all epilepsy is directly inherited. Epilepsy caused by injuries or illnesses that affect the brain are not thought to be genetically caused. However, some researchers think that some people may have a greater inborn susceptibility to seizures after injury than others.
In general, there is only a slightly higher risk of epilepsy in a child when one of the parents has it (3% vs. 1%). This risk goes up when both parents are affected. It is also higher when other family members have it as well. Even so, there is a much greater chance that epilepsy will not be passed on to your children.