Sexual Health of Women with Spinal Cord Injury in Bangladesh

Noortje Pauline Maria Lubbers, Reshma Parvin Nuri, Huib Cornielje, Wim H van Brakel


Purpose: To identify factors influencing the sexual health of women with spinal cord injury (SCI) in Bangladesh.

Methods: This study used both qualitative and quantitative methods. The quantitative part used a case-control design. Cases were women with SCI and controls were age-matched women without SCI.  Questionnaires were used to collect data concerning the sexual health status of women. Multivariate logistic regression was done to determine which factors had an independent effect on sexual health.  In-depth interviews were held with a sub-group of women from both groups, and interview guides were used. The in-depth interview data was subjected to content analysis.

Results: In total, 92 questionnaires were given out and 30 in-depth interviews were conducted. A relationship was found between physical factors and sexual health, as pain, vaginal dryness and physical discomfort were mentioned more frequently among women with SCI. Environmental and emotional factors such as stigma, satisfaction of the husband and support from the husband and friends had an influence on the sexual health of the women with SCI, as well as the other group of women.

Conclusions: From interviews it became clear that most of the women with SCI were dissatisfied with their sexual health as compared to the women without SCI. However, environmental and emotional factors such as attitudes, support and stigma, rather than physical factors, were the most important influences on sexual health in both groups of women.

doi: 10.5463/dcid.v23i3.60


Bangladesh; women's sexual health; spinal cord injury; sexual satisfaction

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