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Did You Know?

Women & Spinal Cord Injury

Women with spinal cord injuries can still reach orgasm, although the sensation might be different from what they experienced before the injury.

You might think that spinal cord injury would damage the circuitry between the brain and genitals, making orgasm physiologically impossible.

But much depends on the extent of the injury. Some women still have sensation in the vagina and clitoris. Many still experience orgasm just as they did before their injury. For other women, orgasm takes longer and requires more foreplay and stimulation. Also, the orgasm might not be as intense as it was before.

Other women have “paraorgasms” or “phantom orgasms.” This type of orgasm can happen when another part of the body is stimulated and the woman feels a sexual response. During this stimulation, some women fantasize or think about what orgasm used to feel like before the injury. The result is a more “psychological” orgasm, but for many women, it’s just as intense and pleasurable.

Unfortunately, women with more extensive injuries are usually unable to reach orgasm. However, many still enjoy sex. The excitement, connection, and emotional closeness they feel with their partners is still satisfying. Many couples work together to find alternative ways of being intimate that can please them both.