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Sexuality and Spinal Cord Injury

Depending on the severity of your spinal cord injury, sexual functioning may be affected. Since sexuality is an important part of life, it's addressed within the context of what happens to you when you have a spinal cord injury.

You may have general or specific questions, or you may feel uncomfortable speaking about sex, and may prefer not to talk about it. No matter how you feel, please know that your physician, social worker, psychologist, and nurse case manager are available to discuss this topic with you after transfer to Mary Free Bed. Since every spinal cord injury affects each individual differently, it will be best to discuss your own particular situation with one of the above professionals.

Generally speaking, spinal cord injury can affect sexual sensation, sexual response, and sexual performance. Both men and women may notice that feeling is impaired or absent below their level of injury. Men may notice that they have difficulty with attaining or sustaining an erection or ejaculating. Women may notice that their menstrual cycles are interrupted for a time after their spinal cord injury, and that pregnancy, labor and delivery may introduce additional considerations that need specialized medical management. It is important to know that various interventions are available to address many of these issues. Although spinal cord injury can affect fertility, it does not automatically rule out the prospect of conceiving or having children.

Note that your social worker has additional resource material about sexuality and spinal cord injury.

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