University of Washington

Department of Rehabilitation Medicine

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Personal experiences of pregnancy and fertility in individuals with spinal cord injury


Pebdani R*, Johnson K, Amtmann D



Publication Info:

Sexuality and Disability, 32(1):64-74


Individuals with spinal cord injuries (SCIs) often face a number of barriers in family planning and pregnancy. These barriers can be structural (i.e. inaccessible health care provider offices and providers unfamiliar with fertility, pregnancy, and SCI) or social (i.e. friends, family, and even providers suggesting that individuals with SCI should not have children), and can affect both men and women. Additionally, much of the information about SCI and pregnancy is from a medical perspective and the psychosocial aspects of pregnancy for individuals with SCI have not been considered. 253 men and women with SCI were asked about the information they received about SCI and pregnancy, where they received this information, and how their SCI affected their family planning. The responses shared in this study can be used to inform individuals who work with people with SCI to better assist their clients or patients who have sustained SCI and are considering pregnancy.

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