Men and Epilepsy

Epilepsy can affect us all in various and diverse means. It can particularly influence males in ways that are individual from females understanding and knowledge.

There is an immense, unexpected and unforeseen change of circumstances that transpires during the course of an individuals life from infancy through to adolescence concluding at adulthood.

I have created and arranged my current blog entry to assist, support and comprehend a wider, confident and positive approach to a more advanced knowledge on the repercussions seizures can influence your life and ways to live the best and happiest life you possibly can.

 Epilepsy has negative affects on hormones. Masses of individuals don’t understand the effects and consequences that epilepsy posses on them. Possibly the majority of men perhaps realise and recognise issues associated with epilepsy though it is common for men to disregard and overlook each and every problematic situation as we all feel speaking is a enormous sign of weakness, we all hope our worry’s and concerns disintegrate over night, we are fellas we are supposed to be strong and resilient. This is never the case, talking is power.

Epilepsy is connected with hormonal changes. Specialists evaluate roughly about 40 percent of men with epilepsy experience low levels of testosterone, the hormone that stimulates the improvement and development of the male genitalia, reproductive traits and sperm.

Epilepsy and the antiepileptic medication used to deter and constraint seizure activity could potentially be responsible for such an impact in hormonal changes.

Constant seizure activity in adults could be related with hormonal and neurological changes that contribute to sexual dysfunction.

Seizures can modify the release of the hypothalamic and pituitary hormones.

Temporal lobe epilepsy, especially is rumoured to include contrary effects on testicular endocrine function.

• Research demonstrate that AEDs immediately negatively affect the brains regions that mediate sexuality.

• AEDs might generate sexual dysfunction by provoking insignificant effects on reproductive hormones.

• Some AEDs transform the attentions and strengths of sex steroid hormones.

Study’s indicate that the AEDs phenytoin, carbamazepine and phenobarbital unfortunately have a extensive affect on hormone levels by lowering the level of free testosterone which, revolves and reduces sexual desire.

Some positive news regarding AEDs and hormonal effects does exist: Studies suggest that the AED lamotrigine may not have a negative impact on sexual function. One study demonstrates that lamotrigine was regarded on having an effect on sexual disorders in men and who are experiencing partial seizures on a daily basis and who were taking other AEDs.

Decreased testosterone, one hormonal effect normally seen in men, can adversely have an outstanding effect on a few of the following:

energy, mood, drive, sexual function, bone density and seizure control.

A percentage of men have been discovered to have exceptionally low levels of bioavailable testosterone, the portion of total testosterone available for use. Abnormally low levels have been connected to sexual dysfunction.

Endocrine specialists can help patients deal with the difficulties and negativity of the complex interactions between hormones, seizures and AEDsIdentifying hormonal imbalances on seizure patterns may lead to a better understanding of treatment options for seizure control.

Although it is still considered experimental and must be monitored very closely, treatment with testosterone supplements have been shown to improve low testosterone levels in Men, which is extremely positive.

• Decreased libido: Some AEDs cause elevations in hormones that suppress sexual arousal and behavior.

• Sperm abnormalities: Some AEDs are associated with sperm abnormalities, including low semen volume, low sperm count and abnormal sperm motility. The following AEDs have been linked to sperm abnormalities: carbamazepine, oxcarbazepine and valproate.

• Reduced testicular volume: Some AEDs have been linked on reducing testicular volume.

• Reproductive dysfunction: AEDs may cause alterations to androgens (substances that produce male characteristics and stimulate activity of male sex organs), thereby contributing to reproductive dysfunction.

A researcher has found that decreased libido and arousal are most pronounced in patients using sedating AEDs, such as barbiturates, although adverse effects on sexuality may also occur with any AED.

The AED lamotrigine appears to have a more favorable profile on sexual function and reproduction than several other AEDs. For instance, men taking enzyme-inducing AEDs have been shown to reach lower testosterone levels at an earlier age than men taking lamotrigine. Plus, a recent study found that, in men experiencing sexual disorders and taking prescribed AEDs for partial seizures, adding lamotrigine had a favorable effect on impotence.

The AED carbamazepine has been linked to significantly reduced levels of testosterone, when compared to the AED valproate. In recent studies, valproate treatment appeared to decreased sexual function and/or libido.

One survey showed that 57 percent of men recently experienced erectile failure, compared to 18 percent of men without epilepsy.

A recent study demonstrated that approximately 40 percent of men possess bioavailable testosterone levels below the normal control range. This is a significant finding because researchers now know that bioavailable testosterone levels, rather than total testosterone levels, affect libido.

AEDs produce direct effects on the brain regions mediating sexuality and may also cause sexual dysfunction by secondary effects on reproductive hormones. Some AEDs have a greater impact on libido than others. Recent data show that, among men with localization-related epilepsy, those taking enzyme-inducing AEDs had less gonadal efficiency than those taking lamotrigine. Men taking enzyme-inducing AEDs also reached abnormally low testosterone levels at an earlier age.

Diminished libido and arousal tend to be most pronounced in men taking sedating AEDs such as barbituates.

In studies comparing the adverse effects of various AEDS on sexuality, researchers found the AEDs carbamazepine and phenytoin to have a much more negative effect on libido than lamotrigine.

Sexual desire requires appropriate function of specific regions of the cerebral cortex, especially frontal and temporal lobes. People with complex partial seizures seem more prone to problems with sexual desire, particularly when seizures originate in the temporal lobe. Moreover, research suggests that damage to the temporal lobe, common in people with partial epilepsy, affects the ability to recognize subtle cues that are integral to establishing intimacy.

Sexual desire can be disturbed by psychological factors such as depression and anxiety. Although limited data exists on depression among people with epilepsy, statistics reveal that the suicide rate for people with epilepsy is 5 times greater than that of the general population, which strongly suggests that the rate of depression is also higher.

Fear that sexual activity will induce a seizure, particularly for those whose seizures are triggered by hyperventilation or physical exertion, may also have a negative impact on libido.

Researchers are experimenting with the use of testosterone in men to improve libido. Preliminary results are encouraging. Researchers discovered the improvement of energy and sexual drive with the administration of testosterone, and decreasing frequency of seizures. Therefore, experts suggest that men experiencing decreased libido ask their doctor to order a test that will determine their level of bioavailable testosterone.

While the research on testosterone offers promise to men suffering from low libido, scientists caution that health care providers using testosterone to treat reduced libido in men should regularly monitor the following: behavioral changes (due to the possibility of developing anger or paranoia); blood count; liver function; lipid profile; and prostate-specific antigen (PSA) count, which is used to detect the presence of prostate cancer.

A recent survey indicates that very few men discuss sex with their physician, despite the prevalence of sexual problems among this population. By bringing these problems to the attention of a doctor, it’s possible that actions can be taken to combat them, for instance, a change in the type of AED may improve libido; so might the administration of testosterone.

Too many men with health conditions and suffer from poor mental ill health unfortunately feel life is not worth living whats the point on carrying on, myself including and have experience strong thoughts of Suicide.

Suicide rates are several times higher in men than women. Globally, suicide is one of the leading causes of death.

Yet, the fact remains that many guys, including myself who have tried to end their lives, have recovered from depression and suicidal thoughts.

I am honoured, privileged, proud, lucky and fortunate to be an ambassador for mental health and epilepsy now.

The intense emotional pain that you can experience when depressed can distort your thinking so it becomes extremely difficult to see possible solutions to problems, or to connect with those who can offer support. Suicide might seem like the only way to make the pain stop. It’s not that there aren’t other ways to get relief from depression, but rather that it’s hard to see them when caught in the grips of depression.


Although it might seem as if your pain and unhappiness will never end, it’s important to realize that the pain is usually temporary. Solutions are often found, feelings change, unexpected positive events occur. Therapists, counsellors, or friends or loved ones can help you find ways to tackle thoughts of suicide that otherwise may not be apparent to you. If you’re thinking that recovery is impossible, it’s time to reach out. There is light at the end of the tunnel, there is always a way, talking is power. Please don’t bury all your emotions, negative feelings and thoughts deep inside you. Always confide in someone.

Steven Connelly

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