Female sexuality after spinal cord injury

Paul Kettl, Sue Zarefoss, Kevin Jacoby, Christine Garman, Cindy Hulse, Fran Rowley, Robin Corey, Michelle Sredy, Edward Bixler, Kathy Tyson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


A questionnaire investigating women's perception of sexuality and sexual behavior after spinal cord injury was mailed to all 74 women followed by the Central Pennsylvania Spinal Cord Injury Program. 37% responded. (After spinal cord injury, women rated sex as being 26% less important to them, but also felt 23% less satisfied with their sexual lives.) 52% were able to achieve an orgasm after their injury, but half of the women who experienced orgasm felt it was different after spinal cord injury. The biggest perceived change after spinal cord injury was perceived attractiveness of their bodies. Women rated their bodies as being only half as attractive after their injury as before. Female sexuality remains a vastly underresearched area in spinal cord injury, and much more data is needed to counsel women about sex after their injury. All members of the rehabilitation team need to be comfortable addressing issues of sexuality with their patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)287-295
Number of pages9
JournalSexuality and Disability
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 1991

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation


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