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Question
Posted by: Anxious | 2010/11/09

Sex after a spinal cord injury

Hi there,

I have a spinal cord injury from waist down (paraplegia). I''ve had a healthy sex life before and am now wondering how I''m going to manage being active in a relationship, considering the general stigma attached to disability. I''m single and even though I''m not being approached for relationships as yet, I shy away from doing same due to fear of the unknown.

Please advise and thank you.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageSexologist

There can be sex after a spinal cord injury but it may well need to be aided by various means. I see other replies have assumed that you are female, I'm not certain so I will try to address both. Paralysis from the waist down may impact on the nerves required to relay sexual messages and so if you struggle with arousal you may need to look for ways to work around this. For a man you may need to consider a vacuum device or intercavernosal injection that can produce an erection if you wish to participate in penetrative intercourse. Your partner in future will of course need to straddle you. For a woman, you may need to add lubricant to prevent pain/vaginal damage. You will have to explore what is stimulating for yourself and what you can do to stimulate your partner. So often people assume that sex = penetration; so much else is missed out in this circumstance. There are resources available the internet - just google it and you will find loads.

Before then of course you will have to face the many challenges of overcoming other people's preconceptions and anxiety in order to establish such a relationship. Do remember though that you still may be able to contract sexually transmitted infections and fall pregnant/empregnate a parnter - so don't forget to practice safe sex (might be obvious, but I didn't want to make assumptions).

If you wanted to discuss this further, I would recommend that firstly you explore what is and isn't possible for you sexually (can you still become aroused/experience orgasm?) and then perhaps have a session or two with a sexologist if you are still unsure.

Claire - SASHA

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

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Our users say:
Posted by: Sexologist | 2010/11/10

There can be sex after a spinal cord injury but it may well need to be aided by various means. I see other replies have assumed that you are female, I'm not certain so I will try to address both. Paralysis from the waist down may impact on the nerves required to relay sexual messages and so if you struggle with arousal you may need to look for ways to work around this. For a man you may need to consider a vacuum device or intercavernosal injection that can produce an erection if you wish to participate in penetrative intercourse. Your partner in future will of course need to straddle you. For a woman, you may need to add lubricant to prevent pain/vaginal damage. You will have to explore what is stimulating for yourself and what you can do to stimulate your partner. So often people assume that sex = penetration; so much else is missed out in this circumstance. There are resources available the internet - just google it and you will find loads.

Before then of course you will have to face the many challenges of overcoming other people's preconceptions and anxiety in order to establish such a relationship. Do remember though that you still may be able to contract sexually transmitted infections and fall pregnant/empregnate a parnter - so don't forget to practice safe sex (might be obvious, but I didn't want to make assumptions).

If you wanted to discuss this further, I would recommend that firstly you explore what is and isn't possible for you sexually (can you still become aroused/experience orgasm?) and then perhaps have a session or two with a sexologist if you are still unsure.

Claire - SASHA

Reply to Sexologist
Posted by: lizard | 2010/11/09

hey you''ve only got one life, if you want to apptoach a dude go for it, do you mix with potential boyfriends?

Reply to lizard
Posted by: Jubba | 2010/11/09

well all i can say is that u wont know unless u try.

Reply to Jubba
Posted by: Me | 2010/11/09

hey, im sorry to hear bout that! sex itself is a very hard thing and the worst part is that very very very few men will look at u now! i know it sounds so harsh but not trying to be ugly but realistic! do you have feeling from the waist down? one thing u should not do is be scared, there are men out there who will love u for who u are! but if you dont go out there the chances of u growing old all alone will be a reality dew to the spinal cord injury.

all of luck

Reply to Me

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