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Can a spinal cord injury cause erectile dysfunction?

A spinal cord injury can cause erectile dysfunction. Depending on the severity of the injury, it may partly or completely block signals going from the brain to the penis. These are the signals that cause an erection when a man is thinking about sex.

A man may also get an erection through touching of his penis. This is a reflex which doesn't require signals from the brain. Most types of spinal cord injuries do not interfere with this way of getting an erection. Talk to your doctor if you are having a problem getting or sustaining an erection after a spinal injury.

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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.