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Spinal cord injuries can affect a woman's sexuality

Sexuality is an important part of any adult's life. Women who have suffered a spinal cord injury might come to realize that their sexuality has been affected by their injury. In some cases, the effect is a mental one because of the changes that occurred in their body. In other cases, the physical challenges caused by the injury is what effects their sexuality. In either case, this can be a very difficult issue for women to overcome.

There are a host of reasons why a woman's sexuality might be affected by a spinal cord injury. Two huge concerns have to do with incontinence issues. Bladder and bowel incontinence can make it difficult for the woman to feel comfortable with sexual activities. Using management techniques and assistive devices might help with these issues.

Determining how to adjust to the area of concern and the differences in the sexuality can be a challenge. Simply learning what a woman's body can and can't do now can be difficult and frustrating. Understanding that there is more to sexuality than just intercourse can go a long way in helping a woman to cope with sexuality after the injury. For example, using personal lubricant might help with comfort issues that might be caused by lack of natural lubrication.

When a woman suffers a spinal cord injury, it isn't uncommon for her to be infertile for a period of time after the injury. Knowing that she can't get pregnant can affect her sexuality, but she should realize that in most cases fertility will return. In some instances, the woman might have to seek professional assistance to learn how to cope with the sexuality issues she faces.

Source: United Spinal Association, "3.2. Sexuality for Women with Spinal Cord Injury," accessed Jan. 19, 2016

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