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12 Jul 2010

Spinal Cord INjury/ Brain Injury
Dear Doc

I am not sure if this question falls into your department...If a person has had a spinal cord injury and they lose a desire for sex or experience a complete loss of libido, can this return after some time? My friend (male) has a SCI and cannot experience an erection. The injury happened 6 months ago. Is it sometimes possible for erection/ libido to improve over time or does one need other medical intervention (eg medications) to stimulate sexual function? He has cerebellum and cerebral damage to the brain.
Many thanks
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Expert
CyberShrink
cybershrink

01 Jan 0001

I'm not sure there is a general answer to this important question. Much would depend on the nature of the spinal injury, its extent and location. Especially as you reveal there is further damage to brain and cerebellum. Whichever neurologist is dealing with him SHOULD be able to answer the question. Though I have not worked in this field for some years, I'm not sure whether medication would be helpful in such a situation. Loss of libido is more likely to be psychological and related to the experience of the damage and its other effects, and loss of confidence. But difficulties with having an erection are more likely to be neurological, though some folks with nerve damage may manage an erection but may be less sensitive to stimulation than usual. There is also a whole literature ( mainly American ) about developing alternative forms and styles of sexuality in people with such disabilities. I haven't the time to check but a Google search and even on Amazon.com ( and remember one can buy most of what's on Amazon, delivered directly to your door, through Take2.co.za, more conveniently ) should help to locate the useful books in this field. I rememember there were also some years back some videos dealing directly with these issues, but I don't know if these have been transferred to DVD
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