Reproductive health issues are more common among men than in women with spine injuries, Dr Shakir Hussain, chairman of the Stroke and Neuro-Intervention Foundation, explained. This is because injuries lead to erectile dysfunction and inadequate ejaculation, while women mostly suffer from loss of genital sensation. “People with spinal inju ries have the same desires and expectations as any other human being,“ said Dr H S Chhabra, director and chief spine surgeon at ISIC. But he termed it unfortunate that the sexual health of spinal injury patients or their desire to have a family is often played down in India.
The young man who runs a textile busi ness, married Sumita Shar ma. But the years following were traumatic for both, with Sanyal unable to have sexua relations with his wife due to the spinal and nerve injuries he had suffered
Spinal Injuries Centre Starts Facility To Help Patients Recover, Have Kids
In our country , medical management focuses mostly on improving mobility , bladder control and preventing infections. Few clinicians address the physical and psychological needs of the patient. Sexual and reproductive desires are rarely discussed.
In the US, UK and other countries, rehabilitation of spinal injury patients involves helping them regain their sexual and reproductive life.But in India these issues are barely addressed as we struggle even to provide basic care and treatment to such patients,“ said a senior doctor at AIIMS.
He cited the example of the AIIMS Trauma Centre, a government institution, where figures showed that in 2013 nearly half the beds in the neurosurgery department were occupied by patients with slim chances of recovery . Often, victims who have suffered spine and nerve injuries in road accidents or falls need oxygen support.
“Poor patients cannot afford oxygen support at home, and in the absence of dedicated rehabilitation facilities, we are forced to keep them in the hospital for long periods,“ he pointed out.
In this rather sorry situation, the sexual needs of a patient must be rather low in the list of medical imperatives, but Sanyal and Indian Spinal Injuries Centre might just have moved the item further up the agenda.
Source: Times of India 18 Dec’2015