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Sex with a spinal cord injury

For men suffering with a spinal cord injury, having sex can be difficult.  The level of injury often dictates the level of sexual activity, but according to a new study using an erectile dysfunction drug may offer some help in the bedroom. 

A hospital in Garches, noted that only about 25 percent of men with spinal cord injuries are able to have erections that are adequate for intercourse.

The French study involved 197 patients, and tracked their progress over the course of 12 weeks.  On average the men were about 38 years old.

Some men received the ED medication Cialis, while others received a placebo.

The results:

Men taking Cilais were 47% more successful at sex compared to others on the placebo.  The most common side effects were headache and urinary tract infection.  The study was published in Archives of Neurology and funded by Cialis’ maker Lilly ICOS LLC.

About spinal injury & sex

According to the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago says, “A spinal cord injury is a life–changing event. It can affect the ability to function in many ways, including sexuality and intimacy. The way you feel about sex and the ability to have sex is very important, but is different for every person. It also holds different levels of importance to people at various times in their lives.”

The extent to which sexual functioning is affected by spinal cord injury depends on the level of injury and whether the injury is complete or incomplete. Generally, the more incomplete the injury, the less change in function. For men, the main changes are in sensation (or feeling); getting erections (hard); and ejaculating (producing sperm).

Doctors suggest talking with your partner about having sex.  Talk about ideas, what works and what doesn’t.  It is a time for complete honesty, doctors say, only through communication can their be a solution that works for both partners.

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