Erectile Function Predicts Sexual Satisfaction in Men With Spinal Cord Injury

Spinal cord injury (SCI) is usually a sudden traumatic event and has a negative effect on sexual function.

To evaluate the characteristics of sexual activity in men with SCI and identify predictors of being sexually active and having a satisfactory sex life.

We assessed sexual activity profiles of men with SCI from a Brazilian tertiary rehabilitation center from February to August 2012. All patients older than 18 years with SCI for longer than 1 year were invited to participate. We analyzed age, time since SCI, patient age at SCI, employment status, partner status, completeness of lesion, functional independence, urinary continence, and Sexual Health Inventory for Men (SHIM) score.

The SHIM was used to assess erectile function (EF). Satisfaction with sex life was analyzed as a dichotomous variable. Predictors of an active and satisfactory sex life were identified using univariable and multivariable analyses.

We evaluated 295 men with mean age of 40.7 ± 14.5 years. Most patients had a complete SCI (65.1%) and 159 (53.9%) were incontinent. The median SHIM score was 5 (interquartile range = 0-16) and only 71 men (24.1%) had a SHIM score of at least 17. Of these men, 159 (53.9%) were sexually active. Only 63 men (39.6%) were satisfied with their sex life after SCI. In univariable analysis, all variables were associated with an active sex life. Those with a SHIM score of at least 17 had a greater likelihood of being sexually active (odds ratio = 116, 95% confidence interval = 14-432). EF was the only parameter associated with a satisfactory sex life (odds ratio = 1.3, 95% confidence interval = 1.2-1.4).

Most men with SCI were sexually inactive and/or dissatisfied with their sex life. Age, duration of SCI, completeness of SCI, continence, having a partner, and good EF were identified as predictors of an active sex life. However, only EF was a predictor of a satisfactory sex life. Gomes CM, Miranda EP, de Bessa J, et al. Erectile Function Predicts Sexual Satisfaction in Men With Spinal Cord Injury. Sex Med 2017;5:e148-e155.

Sexual medicine. 2017 Sep [Epub]

Cristiano M Gomes, Eduardo P Miranda, José de Bessa, Carlos Henrique Suzuki Bellucci, Linamara Rizzo Battistella, Carmita Helena Najjar Abdo, Homero Bruschini, Miguel Srougi, John P Mulhall

Division of Urology, University of Sao Paulo School of Medicine, Sao Paulo, SP, Brazil. Electronic address: ., Division of Urology, University of Sao Paulo School of Medicine, Sao Paulo, SP, Brazil; Sexual and Reproductive Medicine Program, Department of Surgery, Urology Service, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY, USA., Division of Urology, University of Sao Paulo School of Medicine, Sao Paulo, SP, Brazil., Institute of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, University of Sao Paulo School of Medicine, Sao Paulo, SP, Brazil., Institute of Psychiatry, University of Sao Paulo School of Medicine, Sao Paulo, SP, Brazil., Sexual and Reproductive Medicine Program, Department of Surgery, Urology Service, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY, USA.

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