Skip to content

Brain & Nervous System Health Center

Font Size

Living With a Spinal Cord Injury - Intimacy and Fertility

Desire and sexual arousal continued...

Women may have some, or complete, loss of vaginal sensation and muscle control. Both men and women can achieve orgasm, although it may not be as intense as before the SCI.

Your sex life will probably be different after your spinal cord injury, but sexual intimacy is still possible and encouraged. Your rehabilitation center may have a counselor or other health professional who specializes in sexual health after an SCI. He or she may be able to help you and your partner with these issues.

Treating sexual problems

Always talk to a doctor familiar with SCIs before using any medicines or devices. Discuss the location of your injury, possible side effects, and any other medical conditions you have.

You also need to watch for autonomic dysreflexia, which causes sudden very high blood pressure. If not treated promptly and correctly, it may lead to seizures, stroke, and even death. These complications are rare, but it is important to know the symptoms and watch for them.

Men who can't get an erection can use the treatments for erection problems (erectile dysfunction). These include:

For information on the treatment of erection problems, see the topic Erection Problems.

Women who have problems being aroused and have little or no vaginal lubrication may use:

  • Sildenafil (Viagra), a medicine used to treat erectile dysfunction in men. It can also help women become aroused.
  • A vibrator.
  • A water-based lubricant, such as Astroglide or K-Y Jelly. Do not use oil-based lubricants.

Both men and women can use sensual exercises that you do with your partner to find areas of your body that react to stimulation.

1|2|3
Next Article:

Today on WebMD

nerve damage
Learn how this disease affects the nervous system.
senior woman with lost expression
Know the early warning signs.
 
woman in art gallery
Tips to stay smart, sharp, and focused.
medical marijuana plant
What is it used for?
 
senior man
Article
boy hits soccer ball with head
Slideshow
 
Graphic of active brain
Article
Vaccine and needle
VIDEO
 
brain illustration stroke
Slideshow
human brain
Article
 
most common stroke symptoms
Article
Graphic of number filled head and dna double helix
Quiz