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Monday, November 16, 2015

Transverse Myelitis and Sex (2)

Sexual function, and how to get the best out of caring intimate relationships, is a topic that is rarely discussed, yet it is crucial to the self-esteem of those of us unlucky enough to have Transverse Myelitis. The simple answer is that our ability to be involved in intercourse varies according to the spinal level involved. It may also depend on how complete a block exists, and of course the stage of the disease. In my report in this blog about my own experiences from 2010 (Transverse Myelitis and Sex) (a chapter from my book (Taking Charge)), I attempted to raise the issues from a deeply personal experience.
Now, a woman on one of our Transverse Myelitis Facebook lists has reported their own issues and was refreshingly explicit about their problem. It made me go on a search to improve my own knowledge, but also try to be helpful to others.
I struck gold with the following article (Neurogenic Bladder, Neurogenic Bowel, and Sexual Dysfunction in People With Spinal Cord Injury) which is the most detailed and careful I have ever come across. It was written by Barbara T Benevento and Marca L Sipski, in 1999, which makes it somewhat elderly, but still the best I have come across.
Everyone should be able to access it, given it is 'open access'.
Yes, it is full of technical jargon and medical detail; but if you persevere, you will get not only a very detailed knowledge of how bladder function, bowel function and sexual function appear in spinal injury, but you will also get some useful ideas about how to manage and improve - depending on the progress of your illness, and your personal needs. 
I hope this helps.

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