Stroke remains one of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality worldwide. Sexual differences in stroke have been recognized, though the mechanisms remain unclear. Women have a unique risk factor profile, especially so in the reproductively active age group. Exposure to oral contraceptives, hormone replacement therapy and a higher incidence of migraine and vasculitic disorders in women suggest that stroke would be common in women. Yet, the incidence of stroke remains higher in men across all ages, indicating a protective role of sex hormones. The differences in incidence and prevalence of stroke decreases as women age, confirming that hormones play a pivotal role in terms of normal physiology, disease and recovery. Recent evidence also points to sex based differences in response to therapy, in terms of acute management and prevention. Gender based differences in accessibility and provision of health care facilities add to the observed differences in terms of stroke outcome, though here women seem to fare worse than men. This review summarizes the observed sex differences in stroke, possible hormonal mechanisms that may explain the same and outlines recent patents and scope for future research in this field.