Getting Pregnant: Fatherhood after Spinal Cord Injury

Most men with spinal cord injuries (SCI) are still able to achieve erections in varying degrees, though ejaculation is not always possible. However, thousands of fathers with an SCI have conceived either naturally or with IVF.  

While some fertility doctors jump immediately to expensive, invasive procedures such as surgically extracting sperm from the testes, there’s a relatively low-tech method that some couples have found success with.

It’s a device that triggers ejaculation with a low-voltage impulse of electricity, a procedure borrowed from animal husbandry and further developed by an American urology department at the University of Michigan. 

There are several models of these vibrators available and they can be easily ordered over the Internet. But there are risks, so it is best to consult a fertility or urology specialist before going ahead. Over-stimulation can trigger autonomic dysreflexia (AD), which is a potentially life-threatening medical complication that can occur in patients whose injuries are at T6 or above. AD is an overreaction of the nervous system to an irritating stimulus below the level of injury.

New Zealand couple Jai and Rebecca found using the medical vibrator was just the solution they were searching for on the road to parenthood. Watch their story below...

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