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Can Spinal Cord Injury Cause Erectile Dysfunction?

Some patients with a spinal cord injury may have erectile and/or ejaculatory dysfunction. Some treatment options include the following: 

1. The first is vibratory stimulation. This is a procedure where a vibratory device is applied to the base of the penis to induce ejaculation. This is typically performed in clinic with blood pressure monitoring in case the patient develops autonomic dysreflexia (a condition that causes a patient’s blood pressure to rise to a dangerous level because of the stimulation). 

2. If vibratory stimulation does not work, the second line of treatment is electro ejaculation. This is where the patient is put to sleep with general anesthesia and then a trans-rectal probe is used to stimulate the nerves to induce ejaculation. Both this technique and the vibratory stimulation technique involve multiple ejaculations to obtain high quality sperm.

3. A third alternative is more invasive but can be completed with one trip to the operating room. Here, the surgeon performs either testicular sperm extraction (TESE) or microsurgical testicular sperm extraction (microTESE) to obtain sperm.

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