Definition of sexuality and fertility management for spinal cord injury
If you’ve experienced a spinal cord injury (SCI), you may benefit from sexuality and fertility management, education and counseling. Your physical condition after your spinal cord injury may change aspects of your sexual function and affect your physical, mental and social well-being related to your sexuality or sexual health.
Your treatment team in the Spinal Cord Injury Rehabilitation Program, including your doctor, social worker, rehabilitation psychologist, nurses and others, has training and experience in sexuality and fertility management, education and counseling. Your treatment team can provide you with education and counseling in many areas regarding your sexual health.
Read more about diagnosis and treatment of spinal cord injury.
People who have experienced spinal cord injuries (SCI) may benefit from sexuality and fertility management, counseling and education. Trained staff also educates and counsels people with SCI about their physical, mental and social well-being in relation to their sexuality or sexual health. Staff also provides you with education to understand the physical changes that occur in your body after a spinal cord injury, and how these changes may impact your sexual health and sexual well-being. For example, a spinal cord injury may cause decreased or absent sensation and movement below the level of injury, yet you may notice a heightened sensitivity in areas above the level of injury.
Men and women who have had spinal cord injuries may maintain sexual function. However, they may notice physical changes after their SCI and may need to make changes in their sexual activity. For example, men may notice changes in the ability to obtain an erection, ejaculate and experience an orgasm. Men who have difficulties with sexual function due to spinal cord injury have several potential treatment options, which may include medications, assistive devices or implants. Women also may experience changes in sexual function, including changes in lubrication and sensation in stimulation. Women who’ve had a spinal cord injury usually can become pregnant and deliver normally. If you wish to become pregnant, you should plan the pregnancy and discuss any potential issues with your treatment team.
The mental and social well-being aspects of your sexual health after your spinal cord injury are as important as your physical aspects. The ability to feel good about your body after SCI and regain confidence in establishing and maintaining intimate relationships is a vital but often unaddressed aspect of sexual health after SCI. The integrated team of trained and experienced doctors, nurses and rehabilitation psychologists educates and counsels people regarding the mental and social well-being aspects of their sexual health. In addition, they can discuss issues with you and your partner regarding sexual health and fertility and provide you with sexuality education and counseling.