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Sensitive topic: sexual dysfunction with back injury

JennyfooJJennyfoo Posts: 81
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:35 AM in Upper Back Pain, Thoracic
Ok, I know this one's a sensitive subject, but I'm hoping someone has some input for me.

Post L5-S1 discectomy, I had severe nerve damage which also affected the right side of my genitals. Perhaps I'm lucky that I was always hypersexual and could easily have multiple orgasms. It didn't effect me too much, and after a year, I barely noticed it. However, I did have problems up until a few months ago, that when I had orgasm, I would lose bladder control. Ugh. Thankfully hubby was very understanding. I was grossed out more(embarrassed) about it than him. Thankfully that had gotten better.

But now, 7 weeks past my T12-L1 herniation, since my spasm has eased, we've begun easing carefully back into having sex again. I have about the same level of sensation in my genitals, but I lack that feeling of fullness and can't feel the uterine contractions after orgasm. I simply don't feel fulfilled any more. It's like I can have an orgasm, but I don't feel the physical release from it. It's a huge let-down and very frustrating since hubby and I have always had a very active and fulfilling sex life.

Has anyone dealt with this, or similar issues with a thoracic injury? I know the nerves involved affect sensation to abdominal and groin areas. I have bladder retention from it too.

Thanks in advance for any advice, comiseration, or support you have to offer on this touchy and delicate matter.



  • i also suffer from incontinence when i have an orgasm. been to hosp to see physio and they said my muscles need strengthening, good old fashioned pelvic floor exercises. not that easy though, every time i do them i get terrible sciatica.
    good topic, its great to be able to talk about it, no one can see us so its not embarrasing :))(
    cant give any advice other than exercises.
    puts you off wanting to be intimate when you able to, due to pain etc.
    4 kids with special needs, wow, you must be super mum to be able to even find time for sex, good on you girl, all the best
  • LOL! Strictly enforced bedtimes and a split floorplan where the Master BR is on the other side of the house from the kids is how we manage. Haha! How could we keep our sanity with 4 kids if we didn't get our private time?
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  • Don't know what meds you're on but besides the nerve thing it can be a side effect from many different meds.
    Kegal excercise like during pregnancy can help and can also help bladder disfunction.
    Talk to dr or pharmacy to see if this could be culprit.
    I know I have the drive but don't always stear steady so to speak, LOL. But not really fun or funny!
    Good luck!
  • It's not the meds. This is new, only since the back injury and I'm on the same meds as before.
  • Since my injury in 2003 (see Hi to All Spineys intro) our sex life has really suffered. We've been married 20 yrs., have done it maybe 4x since, husband getting frustrated, but I have severe pain, severe muscle-spasms in back,hamstrings and calves. I am currently on Hydrocodone 10-500, Robaxin 750x4 along with other meds. I'm ashamed to say 4x, we had a healthy sex-life before, and I know he loves me. He ordered some kind of cushion that will tilt fem. pelvis up, he is approx. 320lbs.,I'm 170lbs., wish I was less, but have trouble walking much less running or doing exercises. Best of luck to you and would appreciate any replies too. >:D< :H
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  • Aww, I'm so sorry. He's a big guy like my hubby. That alone can be daunting. My hubby is 330 and I'm about 275, so there's not quite the difference in weight with us, but still... Ok, I have a few suggestions and I'll have to see if I can find a link later when I get on my computer- on iPhone right now, unable to sleep.

    After my lumbar discectomy last year, it was really scary to get "back in the saddle". I had severe calf pain and weakness in one leg(still do BTW). We found a website that actually shows sex positions that are easier for people with arthritis or a back injury. I will be sure to look it up and post it later. My best advice is to just experiment. Let your hubby know you're just as frustrated as he is and you want to work on making your sex life better, together. Its going to take some time, some experimentation, some frustrations, and a sense of humor about it from both of you in order to find what works for you. After my surgery, we were able to find a few positions that worked, one resulting in better experiences than any we'd tried before my injury. And no, him on top, standard missionary position does not work at all for us any more. It puts too much of his weight onto my spine.

    My hubby is so scared to even touch me, with this thoracic herniation, that I have to instigate and insist on it. LOL! Perhaps your hubby is scared too, doesn't want to hurt you, etc. I flat out told my husband the other day, that I don't care if I end up paralyzed and can't feel anything, I don't care how bad I am or how much it scares him, but I NEED to feel wanted in that way and to please never give up trying to initiate things with me. It would be a huge blow to my self esteem if he simply gave up even trying. My "hint" seemed to help and he's trying more now.
  • Hey,thanks for link,I'll look it up when I get off SH. I need to add that I also have 8" scar from inguinal hernia repair, groin pain coming from lower back (Neuro gave EPI steroid shot, I think L2? and it helped for awhile). In 2005, I had ext.DVT's from pelvic area/R.leg. Dr.won't put me on hormones due to risk of blood clots, I continue to make blood clots, Thank God Dr. implanted a Greenfield umbrella in venae-cava to catch and diffuse them. I am depressed (take Lexapro 20mg. daily) and stress makes pain worse, have fibromyalgia also; so see I have many other issues. Hope you have a good day/week.Thanks again. HUGS
  • I've got other issues too. Autoimmune arthritis being the main one. I'm exhasusted ALL the time. My dr., also suspects Fibromyalgia on top of it. My hubby has had many DVTs in his legs and has post=thrombitic syndrome. His legs kill him and he can't get any exercise becuase of it, he can barely stand shopping. he's on Couadin too.
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