Current trends in the treatment of infertility in men with spinal cord injury

Apostolos Kafetsoulis, Nancy L. Brackett, Emad Ibrahim, George R. Attia, Charles M. Lynne

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

83 Scopus citations


Objective: To determine current use of penile vibratory stimulation (PVS), electroejaculation (EEJ), and intrauterine insemination (IUI) in treatment of infertility in men with spinal cord injury (SCI). Design: Prospective survey, retrospective chart review, and literature review. Setting: Major university medical center. Patient(s): Male SCI patients and female partners. Intervention(s): A survey administered to professionals determined current treatment methods for infertility in couples with SCI male partners. Main Outcome Measure(s): Sperm retrieval methods, ejaculation success rates, total motile sperm (TMS), IUI application, and IUI outcomes. Result(s): Twenty-eight percent of surveyed professionals do not retrieve sperm from ejaculates of SCI patients, relying instead on retrieval from reproductive tissues. Reasons for not offering PVS or EEJ were lack of familiarity, training, or equipment. Thirty-four percent do not offer IUI to these couples. Chart review showed that semen could be retrieved by PVS or EEJ in 95% of patients. Fifty-three percent and 43% of trials had TMS >5 and >10 × 106, respectively. Of survey respondents performing IUI, 42% lacked enough data to estimate pregnancy rates (PRs) in these couples. Literature review showed IUI PRs between 9% and 18% per cycle and 30% and 60% per couple. Conclusion(s): Based on ejaculation success rates, TMS yields, and IUI outcomes, the methods of PVS, EEJ, and IUI warrant consideration in centers not currently offering these options for couples with SCI male partners.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)781-789
Number of pages9
JournalFertility and sterility
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2006


  • ejaculation
  • electroejaculation
  • infertility
  • IUI
  • IVF
  • pregnancy
  • PVS
  • semen
  • sperm
  • Spinal cord injuries

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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