A woman’s fertility is generally not compromised by spinal cord injury. In most cases, a woman is as fertile following the accident as she was before accident.
SCI and the Menstrual Cycle
About half of all women who have experienced a spinal cord injury never miss a period as a result of the accident. The other 50 percent experience a disruption in their menstrual cycles that usually lasts anywhere from three to six months. In most cases, the monthly menstrual cycle returns with no lasting effect on fertility.
Infertility and SCI
About 12 percent of all women—whether they are the victims of SCI or not—experience infertility or difficulty becoming pregnant. Women with SCI who are experiencing fertility issues generally undergo the same type of treatment as the general population. Ovulation defects, as well as abnormalities related to the uterus or fallopian tubes, are looked for.
Treatment of Infertility
Once the defect is found, a treatment plan is designed to increase the odds of fertility. If the defect is related to ovulation, medications are usually taken to increase the likelihood of ovulation. High-tech methods, such as in-vitro fertilization, in which an egg and sperm are united in a culture dish outside the body, are also an option. A woman with SCI has just as good a chance as a non-disabled woman of becoming pregnant through the use of fertility treatments.