With no ability to feel or voluntary move any part of the body below injury and lack of control over bladder, questions are often raised,
“ Are men with spinal cord injury fit for marriage “?.
Answer to this question is, absolutely yes !
Today, thousands of men worldwide are leading a successful marital life and many have even fathered children. It’s all about a scenario of being capable of doing a particular task, but in a different way.
Erection from thoughts, known as psychogenic erections may be missing, but physiogenic erection or reflex erections, caused by physical touch, is still present in men with spinal cord injury.
Going down the vertebral column with the level of injury, the ability to have and maintain erection decreases however .
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But various methods can be adopted to help with the cause. Few such methods are given in the lines below:
- Many men with cervical and upper thoracic injury level can have a quality erection, good enough for sexual intercourse just by physically touching the genital area.
- If erection can be achieved but maintaining it for a longer duration is the problem, then tension ring can be used to prevent outflow of blood from penis to maintain erection for a desirable period of time. However, it should not exceed for more than half an hour, to avoid injury to penile muscles.
- As medications always have some side effects, so a vacuum pump can be used for penile erection, followed by a tension ring for maintaining it. Vacuum pump when applied to penis creates a negative air pressure causing blood flow towards penis, resulting in erection.
- If the, side effects free mechanical method of, vacuum pump is not working, as in low injury level paraplegics, then medications such as Viagra etc can be used for the purpose, after the advice of a doctor.
- If all the above methods are not working, then injection like caverject can be used. But doctor must be consulted before using this method, as sometimes the hours long erection due to it may damage penis.
Summing up, men with spinal cord injury are capable of getting married and, in case of problems, any of the above methods can be helpful for living a happy marital life!