Male fertility following spinal cord injury: Facts and fiction

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

64 Scopus citations


Although most spinal cord injuries (SCIs) occur to males of parenting age, myths abound as to whether men can biologically father children after SCI. Following SCI, most men experience impairments in erectile and ejaculatory function. Semen can be obtained from almost all men with SCI through the use of vibratory or electrical stimulation. Their ejaculates often have normal sperm counts but more immotile sperm than found in men without SCI. This condition does not seem to be caused by lifestyle factors (such as elevated scrotal temperature, ejaculation frequency, and method of bladder management) but may be related to factors within the seminal plasma. Sperm from men with SCI may be used in assisted reproductive techniques to attempt biological fatherhood. Health care providers, including physical therapists, should encourage men with SCI seeking biological fatherhood to be evaluated at a center dedicated to assisting men with SCI in this specialty area.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1221-1231
Number of pages11
JournalPhysical therapy
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1996
Externally publishedYes


  • Ejaculation
  • Electroejaculation
  • Fertility
  • Male
  • Semen
  • Spermatozoa
  • Spinal cord injuries

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Health Professions(all)
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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