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Neurogenic Bladder, Neurogenic Bowel, and Sexual Dysfunction in People With Spinal Cord Injury

Barbara T Benevento, Marca L Sipski

Abstract

The purpose of this article is to review the literature related to the effects of spinal cord injuries on genitourinary, gastrointestinal, and sexual function. These important areas of function are profoundly affected by spinal cord injuries, with the effects of injury being dependent on the specific level and degree of neurologic dysfunction. Our ability to manage neurogenic bladder dysfunctions and neurogenic bowel dysfunctions has improved over the past few years; however, in general the techniques used have not significantly changed. In contrast, a significant amount of new information has been made available regarding the effects of specific neurologic injuries on sexual response, particularly female sexual response. Moreover, techniques to remediate erectile dysfunction and infertility in the male have vastly improved the fertility potential of men with spinal cord injuries. Further research is warranted in all of these areas.

  • Received January 19, 1999.
  • Accepted January 15, 2002.
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