Sexual Satisfaction

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  1. Sexual satisfaction is reportedly lower in both men and women after SCI (Alexander et al. 1993; Fisher et al. 2002; Reitz et al. 2004; Kennedy et al. 2006; Sharma et al. 2006; Mendes et al. 2008).
  2. In an exploratory study of comparing African-American men and women with SCI, authors found that the women reported greater satisfaction with their sex lives than the men (Krause et al. 2004).
  3. A comparison study of women with and without SCI, found that married women with SCI are as sexually satisfied as their able-bodied counterparts (Black et al. 1998).
  4. In a study involving South Asian women with SCI, the women reported lack of sexual satisfaction more often than the men (Sharma et al. 2006). Conversely, in a survey study of Italian men and women with SCI, men reported significantly lesser satisfaction with sexual life post-injury than women (Sale et al. 2012).
  5. Moreno et al. (1995) included sexual parameters in their report of outcome of continent urinary diversion with a catheterizable umbilical stoma in women with tetraplegia (n=3). They found that sexual satisfaction improved in the 2 women who were sexually active and body image improved in all 3 women.

Table 2: Sexual Satisfaction


Despite the importance of sexual adjustment to overall quality of life, there have been few studies addressing this topic and few investigating the effectiveness of interventions on sexual satisfaction and adjustment to SCI. A number of studies have reported that thefrequency of sexual activity and desire for sexual activity decreases after injury in both men and women (Julia & Othman 2011; Kreuter et al. 2011).  The issues that are perceived to affect sexual satisfaction and/or sexual activity are multi-faceted.  However, common barriers to sexual satisfaction from the effects of SCI include bladder and bowel problems, as well as other impairments resulting from the severity of injury (e.g. spasticity, lack of mobility) (Biering-Sorensen et al. 2012; Moreno et al. 1995; Anderson et al. 2007).

  • Common barriers to sexual satisfaction include bladder and bowel problems, as well as other SCI-related impairments (e.g., spasticity, lack of mobility).

    Continent urinary diversion in women with tetraplegia may result in improved self-image, quality of life, and greater sexual satisfaction.