Management of Sexual Disorders in Spinal Cord Injured Patients
Spinal cord injured (SCI) patients have sexual disorders including erectile dysfunction (ED), impotence, priapism, ejaculatory dysfunction and infertility. Treatments for erectile dysfunction include four steps. Step 1 involves smoking cessation, weight loss, and increasing physical activity. Step 2 is phosphodiesterase type 5 inhibitors (PDE5I) such as Sildenafil (Viagra), intracavernous injections of Papaverine or prostaglandins, and vacuum constriction devices. Step 3 is a penile prosthesis, and Step 4 is sacral neuromodulation (SNM). Priapism can be resolved spontaneously if there is no ischemia found on blood gas measurement or by Phenylephrine. For anejaculatory dysfunction, massage, vibrator, electrical stimulation and direct surgical biopsy can be used to obtain sperm which can then be used for intra-uterine or in-vitro fertilization. Infertility treatment in male SCI patients involves a combination of the above treatments for erectile and anejaculatory dysfunctions. The basic approach to and management of sexual dysfunction in female SCI patients are similar as for men but do not require treatment for erectile or ejaculatory problems.
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