Sexual activities, response and satisfaction in women pre- and post-spinal cord injury

Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 1993 Oct;74(10):1025-9. doi: 10.1016/0003-9993(93)90056-g.


Twenty-five spinal cord injured (SCI) women (median age = 34) completed an 80-item multiple choice questionnaire (median 50 months postinjury) that assessed sexual functioning pre-spinal cord injury and post-spinal cord injury in four areas: (1) sexual adjustment; (2) sexual activities and preferences; (3) sexual desire, arousal and satisfaction; and (4) sexual abilities. Frequency of sexual activity decreased following SCI. Intercourse was the favorite activity preinjury; whereas, kissing, hugging and touching were favored postinjury. Sexual desire and satisfaction decreased postinjury. Ability to achieve lubrication and orgasm with various types of spinal injuries is reported. Although most women did not receive sexual information or counseling, 76% of the sample believed they had been adjusting well sexually. Results are discussed accounting for the limitations of self-report methodology in sexuality research. The need for laboratory based, physiologic studies is underscored.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Coitus
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Orgasm
  • Paraplegia / psychology
  • Quadriplegia / psychology
  • Sexual Behavior* / psychology
  • Sexual Behavior* / statistics & numerical data
  • Sexual Partners
  • Spinal Cord Injuries / psychology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires