Will I Be Able To Get An Erection?
Types Of Erections
For men that might be able to get a psychogenic erection, the penis often gets longer and fuller, but still may not be rigid enough for intercourse. Pay attention to what causes you to have an erection. It could be useful in the future.
Reflexogenic: It is also called a reflex or spontaneous erection. This type of erection comes from physical touch or stimulation to your penis or genitals. Stroking, touching or caressing the penis can produce this response. The ability to get a reflex erection is controlled by nerves found in the lowest part of the spinal cord (S2-3-4). Reflex erections from touch are possible in most men with an injury at T10 or above. Psychogenic erections from arousing thoughts, sights or sounds are not usually possible.
Spontaneous/Nocturnal: If you have ever woken up with an erection at night or early morning without stimulation, you have had a spontaneous erection. These can occur during sleep or when your bladder is full. With men that do not experience erectile dysfunction these can occur 3-5 times per night on average. Some men after SCI may still get spontaneous erections during the night and/or in the morning. How long the erection lasts will help you determine its usefulness for sexual activity.
Will I Be Able To Ejaculate?
The spinal cord is involved with two phases of the ejaculatory process. The first allows semen to move into the urethra. The second allows that semen to be pushed out of the urethra. For all of this to happen, chemical messages need to travel between the brain and the genitals via the spinal cord. But when a man has spinal cord injury, this travel is impaired.