Effects of level and degree of spinal cord injury on male orgasm

M. Sipski, C. J. Alexander, O. Gómez-Marín

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Scopus citations


Design:Controlled, laboratory-based analysis.Objective:To determine the impact of spinal cord injuries (SCIs) on the ability to achieve male orgasm.Setting:US academic medical center.Methods:A laboratory-based analysis of the ability of 45 men with SCIs and 16 able-bodied control subjects to achieve orgasm coupled with a detailed neurologic examination, history and physical examination, and administration of the International Index of Erectile Function.Results:Men with SCIs were less likely than controls to achieve orgasm. Mean latency to orgasm, blood pressure and heart rates at orgasm were not significantly different between controls and SCI subjects. Men with incomplete SCIs were more likely to achieve orgasm than those with complete SCIs. A disconnect was noted between the presence of orgasm and the presence of ejaculation. Men with complete lower motor neuron dysfunction affecting their sacral segments were less likely to achieve orgasm than men with any other patterns of SCI.Conclusion:These results document the ability of men with complete SCIs to achieve orgasm. Characteristics of orgasm in men with SCIs as compared to able-bodied subjects are similar. Although orgasm and ejaculation are more likely to occur together, a number of men with SCIs achieve orgasm without ejaculation. Further research should explore the possibility of retraining ejaculatory and orgasmic responses in men with SCIs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)798-804
Number of pages7
JournalSpinal Cord
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 3 2006


  • Ejaculation
  • Neurologic recovery
  • Orgasm
  • Pattern generator
  • Reflex
  • Spinal cord injury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology


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