Sexual Functioning in Male SCI

What are the various elements that are important in sexual health in males for a SCI?
1. In men, erection, ejaculation, orgasm, and semen quality are important elements of sexual health post SCI (figure 7).
2. In both men and women post SCI sexuality now involves the psychological and physiological effects of loss of motor and sensory function, bladder and bowel control, alterations to body image and changes in sexual self esteem.

Figure 7. From Medical Illustration 2010, Nucleus Medical Media Inc

Describe the pathophysiology (i.e., dysfunction) of sexual function that occurs with a complete SCI with men?
1. A sudden and complete spinal cord transection results in: (a) immediate and permanent loss of all voluntary movement below the level of the cord lesion; (b) loss of all sensations; and c) loss of all reflex functions below the level of the spinal cord lesion (spinal shock).
2. Three phases in the pathophysiology of sexual functioning post SCI are spinal shock, reflex return, and readjustment.
3. Erection and ejaculation are lost immediately after SCI.
4. The majority of men can eventually obtain an erection post SCI but these erections are often unreliable or inadequate for sexual intercourse (see figure 8).

For more information please see: Sexual Functioning in Male SCI

Figure 8. Psychogenic and Reflexogenic Erection post SCI. Amador, M. J., Lynne, C.M., and Brackett, N. L. A Guide and Resource Directory to Male Fertility Following Spinal Cord Injury/Dysfunction. Retrieved from http://www.medicalvibrator.com/sitebuildercontent/sitebuilderfiles/guidetosci.pdf.