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Can nerve damage from a spinal cord injury cause ED?

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)

An injury to the spinal cord can cause interference in signals the brain sends to the body--or cut off communication altogether. People who suffer spinal cord injuries often lose the use of limbs, for instance. In many cases, men who experience trauma to the spinal cord end up with erectile dysfunction.

The spinal cord is a bundle of nerves that extends from the brain and down the spine. Nerves radiate from the spinal cord to the furthest points within your body. Some of those nerves are responsible for helping to control when you have an erection. If they become damaged, erections may become difficult to achieve, if not impossible.

Fortunately, there is hope for men who with spinal cord injuries who experience erectile dysfunction. Studies have found that many can regain the ability to have erections adequate for sexual intercourse with the help of medications such as sildenafil (Viagra), vardenafil (Levitra), and tadalafil (Cialis).

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.