According to a recent study reportedat the 2008 Clinical Congress of the American College of Surgeons, 3,087 out of 10,122 survey respondents reported cases of sexual dysfunction after experiencing severe physical trauma.
Trauma, a serious or body-altering injury, had not been linked to sexual dysfunctions until recent years and findings now support the correlation. After becoming aware of the increased number of young trauma patients experiencing sexual dysfunction, University of Washington doctors decided to conduct a study on patients recovering from trauma. The study included both male and female patients and showed similar rates of sexual dysfunction regardless of the patients gender.
Said one of the study’s leaders: “For most practitioners, both primary care and trauma physicians, sexual function is not on their radar screen and most often they think of erectile dysfunction in men. Sexual dysfunction is a complex and difficult topic for most practitioners to discuss. But sexual function is a major determinant of quality of life, impacts both men and women, and if physicians don’t ask patients about their sexual health, the patients are unlikely to bring it up. This is something physicians should be asking their patients about because there are excellent medications that work in the majority of patients.” The study aims to make trauma physicians aware of the findings.
Researchers are not sure why sexual dysfunction is so prevalent among trauma patients but they do suspect it might be related to the psychological effects of trauma and its life-changing limitations.