The Independent

Third of stroke survivors ‘too scared to have sex’, report finds

The Independent

One third of stroke survivors say they are “too scared” to have sex, new research has found.

According to figures released by the Stroke Association, more than half (57 per cent) of people who have survived strokes have experienced changes to their sex lives with one reason being that people are afraid that having sex could bring on another attack.

The charity’s survey of more than 1,000 stroke survivors also found that more than one fifth believe their partner no longer wants to have sex, while one third said having sex would be difficult.

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And roughly one in six of those surveyed say they don’t have sex at all anymore.

Roughly 100,000 strokes occur in the UK every year, with one in four happening to people under the age of 64.

The Stroke Association states that strokes can cause physical or emotional changes that affect people’s sex lives in addition to their relationships.

“It’s not unusual to feel low or depressed after a stroke, and this can make you feel as if you have lost interest in sex,” the charity adds.

Additionally, muscle weakness or spasticity (muscle stiffness) may cause physical issues and can “restrict how you move and how you can position yourself during sex”.

Shape Created with Sketch. Couples on the Met Gala 2019 red carpet

Show all 19

left Created with Sketch. right Created with Sketch.

Shape Created with Sketch. Couples on the Met Gala 2019 red carpet

1/19 Dwayne Wade and Gabrielle Union

The couples matched in matching Dundas on the red carpet. The actress wore a floor-length cardigan on top of the dress, which featured a high slit in the middle to show off her black high heels. Meanwhile, her husband wore a headpiece and black suit that matched Union’s bejewelled look.

(Credit too long, see caption)

2/19 Tom Brady and Gisele Budchen

The pair wore matching shades of pink on the red carpet. Bündchen looked chic in a pleated metallic pink gown by Dior’s Maria Grazia Chiuri. Meanwhile, the sportsman wore a velvet dark pink tuxedo.

Getty Images

3/19 Alicia Keys and Swizz Beatz

The couple contrasted with the light pink red carpet in matching green ensembles. Keys wore a hooded light green sequined dress for the occasion while her beau wore a dark green tuxedo jacket and black trousers.

Evan Agostini/Invision/AP

4/19 Jennifer Lopez and Alex Rodriguez

The newly-engaged couple stunned on the pink carpet. Lopez arrived with her fiancé in a silver sequined-encrusted dress with a deep V-neck plunge and matching headpiece. Meanwhile, Rodriguez wore a pink suit.

(Credit too long, see caption)

5/19 Travis Scott and Kylie Jenner

The pair looked like they’d just stepped out of a video game, with Jenner donning a purple wig and sheer lavender-coloured dress by Versace for the occasion. The reality star’s ensemble featured matching coloured feathered sleeves, while her boyfriend wore a brown and black Dior military-inspired suit.

Getty Images

6/19 Joe Jonas and Sophie Turner

The newly-married couple attended their first Met Gala together this year. The Game of Thrones star wore a Louis Vuitton two-piece ensemble, which had the appearance of a jumpsuit, with an oversized belt. Jonas, meanwhile, coordinated with his wife’s look in a black suit that featured multi-coloured embelishments.

Getty Images

7/19 Priyanka Chopra and Nick Jonas

Chopra looked every inch as regal as she did on her wedding day to Nick Jonas last year in this stunning silver Dior Haute Couture gown at the Gala. the dress featured feathered ruffles and a matching cape, and was paired with a silver crown and Chopard jewellery. Standing by her side was Jonas, who wore a white Dior Men tuxedo, Chopard jewellery and silver Christian Louboutin shoes.

(Credit too long, see caption)

8/19 James Corden and Julia Carey

The presenter and his wife matched in black and baby pink at the Gala. The comedian teamed his look with a matching neck tie, waist coat and patent black dress shoes.

Evan Agostini/Invision/AP

9/19 Kim Kardashian and Kanye West

Kim Kardashian-West and her husband caused a frenzy on the red carpet. The reality star wore a nude ensemble designed by Mugler, while her husband wore a black jacket and trousers. “This is the first time in 20 years that Mr. Mugler has designed for the House of Thierry Mugler,” the media mogul told E! News’ Zuri Hall on E!’s Live From the Red Carpet at the Met Gala.

(Credit too long, see caption)

10/19 Megalyn Echikunwoke and Chris Rock

The duo posed side-by-side a pose on the Met Gala stairs. Echikunwoke wore a textured terracotta-coloured patterned dress for the occasion which featured a high neck and cascading mini dress that ran into an elongated train. Meanwhile, her beau kept things simple in a black tuxedo.

AFP/Getty Images

11/19 Zoe Saldana and Marco Perego

The pair channelled disco glamour on the pink carpet at the event. The couple, who have been married for six years, looked effortlessly chid as Saldana teamed her sequined rust-coloured dress by Michael Kors with a matching necktie, sequinned satin clutch, snakeskin platform heels, and purple embellished glowers in her hair. Her husband, meanwhile, kept it causal in a black tuxedo with an open-collared white shirt.

(Credit too long, see caption)

12/19 Charles Melton and Camila Mendes

Riverdale’s Camila Mendes and Charles Melton attended their first Met Gala together this evening. Mendes wore a yellow feathered Prabal Gurung gown with a light blue bow tied around the back while her beau complemented her look in a dark Sies Marjan suit.

Getty Images

13/19 Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth

The pair made their Met Gala pink carpet debut in coordinating looks. The singer wore a Saint Laurent sequin striped dress with a pair of sheer black dotted patterned leggings. Meanwhile, her husband wore a black suit that matched his wife’s outfit, perfectly.

Getty Images

14/19 Benedict Cumberbatch and Sophie Hunter

Benedict Cumberbatch and Sophie Hunter turned things up a notch in their matching ensembles. The actor didn’t hold back in his all-white suit and fedora, while his wife donned a strapless lilac-hued dress with oversized billowing sleeves.

Getty Images

15/19 Cole Sprouse and Lili Reinhart

The Riverdale pair might have looked like they’d stepped from the pages of a children’s novel at tonight’s gala but their outfits surely packed a sartorial punch. Reinhart wore a blue strapless romper dress with oversized sleeves and a long train, while her beau wore a matching red sleeveless suit jacket and trousers that featured a floral motif.

(Credit too long, see caption)

16/19 Serena Williams and Alexis Ohanian

Williams stole the show on the night in a pair of neon yellow Nike trainers designed by Virgil Abloh and a bright yellow Versace floral-printed dress. She walked the red carpet with her husband of two years, who wore a black and white tuxedo.

PA

17/19 Baz Luhrmann, left, and Catherine Martin

Director Baz Luhrmann and his wife Catherine Martin matched in various shades of pink. Martin’s look capitalised on the night’s biggest trend –feathers – with the detailing featuring on the hem of her cuff and trouser legs.

Charles Sykes/Invision/AP

18/19 Tommy Hilfiger and Dee Hilfiger

Tommy Hilfiger and Dee Ocleppo showed their patriotic side, dressed in a stars and striped motif inspired by the US flag.

(Credit too long, see caption)

19/19 Kris Jenner and Corey Gamble

Jenner looked almost unrecognisable in a blonde wig at the event, dressed in a custom jumpsuit and jacket from Tommy Hilfiger. Her partner, Corey Gamble, coordinated with Jenner’s look in a matching blue tuxedo.

(Credit too long, see caption)

1/19 Dwayne Wade and Gabrielle Union

The couples matched in matching Dundas on the red carpet. The actress wore a floor-length cardigan on top of the dress, which featured a high slit in the middle to show off her black high heels. Meanwhile, her husband wore a headpiece and black suit that matched Union’s bejewelled look.

(Credit too long, see caption)

2/19 Tom Brady and Gisele Budchen

The pair wore matching shades of pink on the red carpet. Bündchen looked chic in a pleated metallic pink gown by Dior’s Maria Grazia Chiuri. Meanwhile, the sportsman wore a velvet dark pink tuxedo.

Getty Images

3/19 Alicia Keys and Swizz Beatz

The couple contrasted with the light pink red carpet in matching green ensembles. Keys wore a hooded light green sequined dress for the occasion while her beau wore a dark green tuxedo jacket and black trousers.

Evan Agostini/Invision/AP

4/19 Jennifer Lopez and Alex Rodriguez

The newly-engaged couple stunned on the pink carpet. Lopez arrived with her fiancé in a silver sequined-encrusted dress with a deep V-neck plunge and matching headpiece. Meanwhile, Rodriguez wore a pink suit.

(Credit too long, see caption)

5/19 Travis Scott and Kylie Jenner

The pair looked like they’d just stepped out of a video game, with Jenner donning a purple wig and sheer lavender-coloured dress by Versace for the occasion. The reality star’s ensemble featured matching coloured feathered sleeves, while her boyfriend wore a brown and black Dior military-inspired suit.

Getty Images

6/19 Joe Jonas and Sophie Turner

The newly-married couple attended their first Met Gala together this year. The Game of Thrones star wore a Louis Vuitton two-piece ensemble, which had the appearance of a jumpsuit, with an oversized belt. Jonas, meanwhile, coordinated with his wife’s look in a black suit that featured multi-coloured embelishments.

Getty Images

7/19 Priyanka Chopra and Nick Jonas

Chopra looked every inch as regal as she did on her wedding day to Nick Jonas last year in this stunning silver Dior Haute Couture gown at the Gala. the dress featured feathered ruffles and a matching cape, and was paired with a silver crown and Chopard jewellery. Standing by her side was Jonas, who wore a white Dior Men tuxedo, Chopard jewellery and silver Christian Louboutin shoes.

(Credit too long, see caption)

8/19 James Corden and Julia Carey

The presenter and his wife matched in black and baby pink at the Gala. The comedian teamed his look with a matching neck tie, waist coat and patent black dress shoes.

Evan Agostini/Invision/AP

9/19 Kim Kardashian and Kanye West

Kim Kardashian-West and her husband caused a frenzy on the red carpet. The reality star wore a nude ensemble designed by Mugler, while her husband wore a black jacket and trousers. “This is the first time in 20 years that Mr. Mugler has designed for the House of Thierry Mugler,” the media mogul told E! News’ Zuri Hall on E!’s Live From the Red Carpet at the Met Gala.

(Credit too long, see caption)

10/19 Megalyn Echikunwoke and Chris Rock

The duo posed side-by-side a pose on the Met Gala stairs. Echikunwoke wore a textured terracotta-coloured patterned dress for the occasion which featured a high neck and cascading mini dress that ran into an elongated train. Meanwhile, her beau kept things simple in a black tuxedo.

AFP/Getty Images

11/19 Zoe Saldana and Marco Perego

The pair channelled disco glamour on the pink carpet at the event. The couple, who have been married for six years, looked effortlessly chid as Saldana teamed her sequined rust-coloured dress by Michael Kors with a matching necktie, sequinned satin clutch, snakeskin platform heels, and purple embellished glowers in her hair. Her husband, meanwhile, kept it causal in a black tuxedo with an open-collared white shirt.

(Credit too long, see caption)

12/19 Charles Melton and Camila Mendes

Riverdale’s Camila Mendes and Charles Melton attended their first Met Gala together this evening. Mendes wore a yellow feathered Prabal Gurung gown with a light blue bow tied around the back while her beau complemented her look in a dark Sies Marjan suit.

Getty Images

13/19 Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth

The pair made their Met Gala pink carpet debut in coordinating looks. The singer wore a Saint Laurent sequin striped dress with a pair of sheer black dotted patterned leggings. Meanwhile, her husband wore a black suit that matched his wife’s outfit, perfectly.

Getty Images

14/19 Benedict Cumberbatch and Sophie Hunter

Benedict Cumberbatch and Sophie Hunter turned things up a notch in their matching ensembles. The actor didn’t hold back in his all-white suit and fedora, while his wife donned a strapless lilac-hued dress with oversized billowing sleeves.

Getty Images

15/19 Cole Sprouse and Lili Reinhart

The Riverdale pair might have looked like they’d stepped from the pages of a children’s novel at tonight’s gala but their outfits surely packed a sartorial punch. Reinhart wore a blue strapless romper dress with oversized sleeves and a long train, while her beau wore a matching red sleeveless suit jacket and trousers that featured a floral motif.

(Credit too long, see caption)

16/19 Serena Williams and Alexis Ohanian

Williams stole the show on the night in a pair of neon yellow Nike trainers designed by Virgil Abloh and a bright yellow Versace floral-printed dress. She walked the red carpet with her husband of two years, who wore a black and white tuxedo.

PA

17/19 Baz Luhrmann, left, and Catherine Martin

Director Baz Luhrmann and his wife Catherine Martin matched in various shades of pink. Martin’s look capitalised on the night’s biggest trend –feathers – with the detailing featuring on the hem of her cuff and trouser legs.

Charles Sykes/Invision/AP

18/19 Tommy Hilfiger and Dee Hilfiger

Tommy Hilfiger and Dee Ocleppo showed their patriotic side, dressed in a stars and striped motif inspired by the US flag.

(Credit too long, see caption)

19/19 Kris Jenner and Corey Gamble

Jenner looked almost unrecognisable in a blonde wig at the event, dressed in a custom jumpsuit and jacket from Tommy Hilfiger. Her partner, Corey Gamble, coordinated with Jenner’s look in a matching blue tuxedo.

(Credit too long, see caption)

Bridget Bergin, executive director of stroke support at the Stroke Association, said: “When someone has a stroke their life changes in an instant and it’s very common for it to affect your relationships, including your sex life.

“It’s not unusual to feel low or depressed after a stroke, and this can make you feel as if you have lost interest in sex.

“The emotional problems are often compounded by the physical disabilities caused by the stroke. Relationships change with many stroke survivors saying that the person who was once their partner has now become their carer.”

But Bergin adds that with the right support and therapies, stroke survivors can overcome their anxieties about sex.

“As a stroke survivor, it’s ok to have sex, unless your doctor tells you otherwise,” she said.

“Sex, like other forms of physical activity, can raise your blood pressure. However, this is unlikely to be a problem except in rare cases.

“If you are concerned, check with your doctor. The Stroke Association can also offer confidential advice to people who call our Stroke Helpline on 0303 3033 100 or visit our website www.stroke.org.uk.”

Olivia Petter The Independent

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