Topic Overview

Talking with your partner may help your sexual function, whether it
be erection problems for men or lack of arousal for women. Couples often
wrongly assume that they each know what the other person likes when it comes to
sex, but likes and dislikes may change after a
spinal cord injury (SCI).

  • Talk about how the SCI has affected your sexual
    function and sex life, and talk about how you feel about it. Be open, honest, and
  • Don’t assume. Tell your partner what you do and don’t
    find pleasurable.
  • Make time outside of the bedroom to talk about
    your sex life together. If you withdraw sexually because of body image, fear of
    erection problems, or fear of not satisfying your partner, he or she may worry
    that you are no longer interested. In some cases, you may find that your
    partner is less concerned about intercourse and is more concerned and
    interested in foreplay and other forms of sexual satisfaction. Discuss the
    strong and weak points of the whole relationship, not just the sexual
  • Identify positive areas, areas of conflict, and
    areas that need improvement. Come to agreement on how or if you will both make
  • If you have difficulty discussing sex with your partner,
    see a person who can help facilitate communication, such as a certified
  • Read books with your partner on sexual health in those
    with SCIs.


ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer Adam Husney, MD – Family Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Nancy Greenwald, MD – Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

Current as ofOctober 9, 2017