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Epilepsy Behav. 2009 Jan;14(1):226-31. doi: 10.1016/j.yebeh.2008.10.015. Epub 2008 Nov 22.

Sexual quality of life in epilepsy: correlations with sex hormone blood levels.

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  • 1Epilepsy Center Hamburg, Protestant Hospital Alsterdorf, Hamburg, Germany.


Seventy-nine consecutive inpatients of an epilepsy center (34 women, 45 men) who had either generalized epilepsy, temporal lobe epilepsy, focal epilepsy of other origin, or no epilepsy completed the Derogatis Interview for Sexual Function-Self-Report Inventory. Quantitative assessments of blood levels were performed for prolactin, total testosterone, sex hormone-binding globulin, estradiol, dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate, luteinizing hormone, and follicle-stimulating hormone. In men, increasing sex hormone-binding globulin levels and duration of epilepsy decreased sexual quality of life. Sex hormone-binding globulin level in men was related to enzyme-inducing antiepileptic drugs and age. In women, we found no associations between blood hormone levels and sexual quality of life. Our results suggest that sexual quality of life is affected by sexual hormone blood levels in men, but not in women with epilepsy. Avoiding enzyme-inducing antiepileptic drugs may lower the risk of raised sex hormone-binding globulin levels and, thus, of lowered sexual quality of life in men with epilepsy.

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