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Spinal Cord. 2001 Sep;39(9):455-70.

Sexual function in spinal cord lesioned men.

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  • 1Clinic for Para- and Tetraplegia, Department TH, The Neuroscience Centre, Rigshospitalet, Copenhagen University Hospital, Havnevej 25, DK-3100 Hornbaek, Copenhagen, Denmark.



Review of literature.


To review the physical aspects related to penile erection, ejaculatory dysfunction, semen characteristics, and techniques for enhancement of fertility in spinal cord lesioned (SCL) men.


Worldwide: individuals with traumatic as well as non-traumatic SCL.


Recommendations for management of erectile dysfunction in SCL men: If it is possible to obtain a satisfactory erection but of insufficient duration, then try to use a venous constrictor band to find out if this is sufficient to maintain the erection. Otherwise we recommend Sildenafil. If Sildenafil is not satisfactory then use intracavernous injection with prostaglandin E(1) (some SCL men may prefer cutaneous or intraurethral application). We discourage the implantation of penile prosthesis for the sole purpose of erection. Recommendations for management of ejaculatory dysfunction in SCL men: Penile vibratory stimulation (PVS) to induce ejaculation is recommended as first treatment choice. If PVS fails, SCL men should be referred for electroejaculation (EEJ). Semen characteristics: Impaired semen profiles with low motility rates are seen in the majority of SCL men. Recently reported data gives evidence of a decline in spermatogenesis and motility of ejaculated spermatozoa shortly after (few weeks) an acute SCL. It is suggested that some factors in the seminal plasma and/or disordered storage of spermatozoa in the seminal vesicles are mainly responsible for the impaired semen profiles in men with chronic SCL. Fertility: Home insemination with semen obtained by PVS and introduced intravaginally in order to achieve successful pregnancies may be an option for some SCL men and their partners. The majority of SCL men will further enhance their fertility potential when using either PVS or EEJ combined with assisted reproduction techniques such as intrauterine insemination or in vitro fertilization with or without intracytoplasmic sperm injection.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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