Added: Fortunato Conover - Date: 12.01.2022 00:55 - Views: 18820 - Clicks: 1876
The physical act of intercourse is not all that defines your sexuality. When we talk about sexuality, we mean more than what goes on behind your bedroom doors. Sexuality is the intimacy between you and your partner, your preferences, your body image and desires. The definition above is not usually what most people think of when they think of sex. This is especially true when people have experienced a spinal cord injury SCI. Some questions that come up are:.
A spinal cord injury changes many parts of the body. This is especially true for those body parts that are at or below the level of the injury. SCI can change the way your bladder and bowel function. Your SCI has most likely changed your sexual function as well. This can mean changes in sensation and ability to achieve orgasm. Initially there are also changes in your menstrual period, which can lead to questions about your ability to have children. People after SCI do not lose their sexual desire and can still have a rewarding sex life.
Fears over changes in sexual function after SCI and concerns about satisfying your partner may decrease as you become more comfortable with your body and more aware of your own sexuality. You may also find that there are other parts of sexuality that may satisfy you and your partner more. Having sex after spinal cord injury is a lot like having sex for the first time all over again. People who approach sex with an open mind and a willingness to experiment to find out what works and does not work after their injury tend to have the most success and reported satisfaction.
Many parts of your body can feel good and provide a pleasant sexual response. These areas of the body are called the erogenous zones and are not only in the genital area. Using all of your senses can also be helpful. Instead of focusing on what the body can and cannot do, try experimenting with all of your senses. There may be a need for a prolonged period of foreplay before orgasm, but orgasm is still possible.
Orgasm and lubrication depend on level of injury and if the injury is complete or incomplete. Normally, your vagina will become moist to make intercourse easier. This is called lubrication. Your breasts will also become more sensitive and your nipples will become erect.
After a spinal cord injury, your vagina may lubricate less and some women find it takes longer to have lubrication occur. Lubrication can be added by using a water-based, non-petroleum lubricant like K-Y Jelly. Some water-based lubricants have glycerin in them, which tastes sweet but can sometimes lead to vaginal yeast infections.
Silicone lubricants are another option that are longer lasting and generally feel more natural, less sticky and can be used less frequently. Both of these options are available over-the-counter. Using a lubricant will also help to prevent irritation to the vaginal tissues.
Oil-based lubricants such as baby oil or lotion are not recommended for vaginal use as they can cause bacterial vaginal infections, urinary tract infections and can cause latex condoms to fail. All of these changes in sexual function depend on your level of injury and how complete the injury is.
Each person's function is unique and may not fit into the above descriptions. Autonomic dysreflexia AD : AD is a rise in blood pressure resulting from a stimulus below your level of injury. You are at risk if you have an injury at T6 and above. If you experience AD symptoms during sex, immediately stop the activity. Put yourself into a sitting position. Be sure you have also removed all tight clothing, binders and compression hoses. If this does not stop the AD symptoms, call your medical provider or Generally, the AD symptoms will stop after the activity stops.
You may want to discuss AD with your health care provider prior to having sex to develop a plan in case it occurs. Speak with your provider further to get more education on this medication. Menstrual periods frequently stop for a time after an SCI due to the shock the body has received from the injury. Menstrual periods will usually start again within three to six months. Either tampons or menstrual p can be used. Women are able to get pregnant after a spinal cord injury, with pregnancy rates similar to the non-injured population. If you do not want to get pregnant, using birth control is a good idea.
There are many different types of birth control available and it is recommended that you speak with your gynecologist to discuss the option that is right for you. All women should see a gynecologist for a yearly exam of the cervix, vagina, uterus, ovaries and breasts. This exam will monitor for changes, problems and cancer. When you call to schedule an appointment, ask if the office and examination table are wheelchair accessible.
Also ask if staff members can assist with transfers, positioning and preparation for the exam. It is important to know that you can still get pregnant and you can still get sexually transmitted diseases such as herpes, syphilis and AIDS — so use protection! Help them understand the causes and treatment of AD so that any AD issues can be managed by this doctor during your pregnancy. Download PDF Version.
After a spinal cord injury, many individuals may experience some loss of sexual function at or below the level of their injury. What is human sexuality? Some questions that come up are: Does my SCI affect my sexual function? What kind of physical changes can I expect? Will I have orgasms? What do I do with my catheter during sex? Will I be able to satisfy my partner? What about bowel and bladder accidents? What are the risks of having sex? How has SCI affected my sexual function?
Can I still have sex after SCI? What can help? For example: Verbal expressions, sounds or music can set the mood. Imagination can also be powerful. Consider sharing fantasies with your partner. Try looking at arousing images. Consider using candles, incense or perfume. Some people report heightened sensitivity in the areas where they can still feel, explore touch on the head, neck, lips, arms and nipples. Some people report increased ability to achieve orgasm through use of vibration.
Using sexual devices and vibrators can be modified for people with limited mobility. There are many types of vibrators and massagers. They can be helpful to use to explore your sensation and the ability to achieve orgasm. For more information about sexual aides and devices, request a copy of the Patient Education document entitled 'Pleasure Able. Speak with your provider before using vibration. It is important to discuss how to evaluate and manage autonomic dysreflexia. Orgasm and lubrication There may be a need for a prolonged period of foreplay before orgasm, but orgasm is still possible.
What are the risk factors of having intercourse with SCI? AD may occur during sexual activity. Here are some ways AD can be triggered: Rough stimulation of the genital area Using a vibrator for stimulation Orgasm Menstruation Infection or inflammation of the vagina or uterus If you experience AD symptoms during sex, immediately stop the activity.
Bladder and bowel: Be sure to empty your bladder before any sexual activity. A suprapubic catheter can be taped to the lower abdomen to keep it out of the way and prevent pulling. Stick to a regular bowel program. Do your bowel program before sexual activity so your bowels are empty.
Use a pillow or wedge under your pelvis to tilt it upward. This will aid in penetration and keep pressure off the bladder and lower bowel. Skin care: Damage to skin from shearing, pressure or rubbing can happen during sexual activity. Padding and positioning can help prevent pressure and friction injuries. Monitor skin for redness and injury. Remove pressure from the area if anything develops. Use plenty of lubrication. Be sure to wash and dry the genital area with soap and water before and after sexual activity. Menstrual periods Menstrual periods frequently stop for a time after an SCI due to the shock the body has received from the injury.
Tampons: Many women prefer tampons because they do not cause skin irritation. They can also provide better protection from leaking during transfers. If you use tampons, change them often, at least three times a day. This will help lessen the risk of toxic shock syndrome.
Toxic shock syndrome is a dangerous illness caused by not changing tampons often.Women want sex Craig
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Sexual Function for Women After Spinal Cord Injury