“In general, TBIs are more likely to cause sexual dysfunction than other brain injuries because of the diffuse nature of the injury,” says Dr. Nathan Zasler, a physician from the Concussion Care Centre of Virginia. The diffuse damage causes the most harm to the frontal and temporal lobes, which can result in a lack of interest in sex due to a general tendency toward apathy and indifference, or more interest than normal, causing deviant, hypersexual behaviour. According to different estimates, 50 to 60 per cent of individuals with TBIs could suffer sexual problems after the injury, including reduced libido, erectile dysfunction, pain during sex and difficulties in vaginal lubrication.
While TBIs can have an impact on sexual drive, the love and intimacy component of a romantic relationship is also affected because of such things as difficulty with attention and memory. “If you had an anniversary coming up but memory is impaired and you forget to buy your wife flowers, that can cause turmoil.” A person with a brain injury might also need cueing, which causes the non-injured spouse to take on a caregiver role.