Man turned up at A&E with memory loss brought on by daytime sex with wife

Man Turned Up At A&Amp;E With Memory Loss Brought On By Daytime Sex With Wife
It was the second time that the man suffered from sudden onset amnesia within 10 minutes of sexual intercourse. Photo: PA Images
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Gordon Deegan

A pensioner turned up at a hospital A&E with short-term memory loss brought about by daytime sex with his wife.

That is according to a new paper by medics in Ireland which documents how the 66-year-old man suffered from sudden onset amnesia or Transient Global Amnesia (TGA) within 10 minutes of having sex.


It was the second time that the man suffered from sudden onset amnesia within 10 minutes of sexual intercourse.

In the paper in the newly-released May edition of the Irish Medical Journal (IMJ), the medics at University Hospital Limerick (UHL)'s Department of Neurology said the case highlights sexual intercourse as a trigger of recurrent Transient Global Amnesia.

Outlining the details, the medics recount how the man endured one hour of amnesia before presenting himself at the hospital A&E one afternoon.

The medics said that “on the afternoon presentation, he had engaged in sexual intercourse 10 minutes before the onset of memory disturbance.”


They recount “after seeing the date on his phone, he became distressed that he had forgotten his wedding anniversary the day before.”

“He had, in fact, celebrated his wedding anniversary with his wife and family on the previous day. His autobiographical memory remained intact, but he had no memory of that morning or the celebrations the night before.”

10 minutes

The medics said “the man repetitively questioned his wife and daughter over the events of that morning and the previous day.”

The paper states that “no other neurological symptoms were reported and upon arrival to the emergency department his neurological examination was completely normal.”


The amnesia episode suffered by the man followed a similar hospital presentation event seven years previous by him, and according to the medics, that amnesia event also came within 10 minutes of sexual intercourse.

The medics describe that the earlier amnesia event came “with an identical postcoital onset”.

The medics report that the man’s medical history was significant for hypertension, gout and hypercholesterolaemia.

The medics also said the case highlights the importance of early MRI to identify changes in the mescal temporal lobes in the brain.

In their paper entitled ‘Recurrent Postcoital Transient Amnesia Associated with Diffusion Restriction’, the medics said that TGA is a syndrome of sudden onset amnesia that can last up to 24 hours.

They said TGA “can present a diagnostic challenge as its mechanism is poorly understood and it has many potential mimics.”

The precipitation of TGA has been linked with several activities, they added, including physical exertion, immersion in hot or cold water, emotional stress, pain and sexual intercourse.

They said that TGA usually occurs in people between 50 and 70 years or age, often in isolation as a once-off event, but studies report an annual recurrence rate of between six and 10 per cent.

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