Specialty Program

Men with Epilepsy

Men with epilepsy can face specific challenges associated with their seizures, epilepsy, treatment, and overall well-being. A significant concern for men with epilepsy is the potential impact of antiepileptic medications (AEDs) on sexual function and reproductive health. Some AEDs may affect hormonal levels, leading to changes in libido, erectile function, or fertility. It is important for men to discuss any concerns or changes in sexual function with their epileptologist. Adjustments to medication regimens or alternative medications may be explored to address these issues while maintaining optimal seizure control. 

Family planning and reproductive health are also important considerations for men with epilepsy. Certain AEDs may have implications for fertility, sperm quality, or fetal development if pregnancy occurs. Men planning to have children should consult with their epileptologist to discuss potential risks, optimal medication management, and strategies to minimize any potential adverse effects on fertility or the developing fetus. 

From a psychological perspective, men with epilepsy may also experience emotional and social challenges related to their condition. Living with a chronic condition that is unpredictable (as seizures are) can lead to increased stress, anxiety, or depression. Coping with the uncertainty of seizure control, managing medication side effects, and addressing any psychosocial impact of epilepsy may require additional support. It is especially important to speak up and consult the treatment team if any concerns emerge.  Participation in support groups, using stress management techniques, and psychotherapy can help regain and maintain emotional well-being. 

It is especially important to take medications regularly and as prescribed to prevent breakthrough seizures, regular follow-up appointments with the epilepsy team, and maintaining a healthy lifestyle can contribute to optimal seizure control. 

Men should be aware of potential seizure triggers, such as sleep deprivation, excessive alcohol consumption, and other non-prescribed drugs.  It is very important to get enough rest, eat a balanced diet, and engage in regular (and seizure-safe) physical activity. 

Sometimes issues may arise with work. Certain occupations may have restrictions or requirements related to seizure control and medication usage. Appropriate work accommodations may be requested, if necessary. The epilepsy team may also be able to assist by communicating with the workplace, directing the patient to epilepsy foundations for further assistance, or discussing specific risks and benefits of certain jobs. 

In conclusion, men with epilepsy may encounter specific challenges related to their epilepsy and seizures and should remember that it is key to have an open communication with their epilepsy treatment team, to connect with support networks, and to adopt healthy living strategies.

At Epilepsy America, our male patients can count on working with treatment team members that are familiar with and can offer guidance on some of the issues mentioned above. 

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