Sexual Difficulties Caused by Traumatic Brain Injuries Are Overlooked

Brain Injury Association of America defines Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) as an alteration in brain function, or other evidence of brain pathology, caused by an external force. TBI has become one of the major and serious public health problems in the United States. Statistics show that every year at least 1.7 million TBIs occur either as an isolated injury or along with other injuries. TBI is typically caused by falls, motor vehicle crashes, struck by/against an object and assaults.

Related: Traumatic Brain Injury

What's the major cause for a TBI?
Falls remain as the leading cause of TBI to Americans 0 to 14-years-old (50%) and adults 65-years-old and older (61%). Struck by/against events were the second leading cause of TBI among children 0 to 14-years-old (25%). Assaults accounted for only 2.9% in children 0 to 14-years-old and 1% in adults aged 65-years-old and above. On the other hand, motor vehicle accidents account for 17.3% of traumatic brain injuries and contribute to the largest percentage of TBI-related deaths (31.8%).

Short and long term injuries
The effects of a traumatic brain injury can be short or long term depending on its severity. TBI affects one’s thinking, sensation, language and emotion. It can cause epilepsy, prolonged anxiety, depression and high risk for conditions like Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease and other brain problems that become more serious and obvious when people age. New research, which was published in NeuroRehabilitation: An International Journal, found that apart from the already known short and long term effects of TBI, TBI victims also suffer from sexual difficulties.

Sexual difficulties
Fifty to sixty percent of people with TBI experience sexual difficulties about six months after the injury and get worse if left unaddressed. Possible causes of sexual dysfunction are damage to the brain, hormonal changes, fatigue, medication side effects, self-esteem issues, emotional, social and mental changes. Sexual difficulties may include pain during sex, erectile dysfunction, reduced interest in sex, difficulties achieving orgasm and difficulties in vaginal lubrication. However, these sexual issues are often overlooked by physicians and rehabilitation professionals.

Related: Traumatic Brain Injury Can Result in Hidden Vision Problem

If you have been suffering from a TBI and experienced any of these sexual problems, it is best to consult your doctor. They can give you expert information and advice. It is also recommended to contact a Kentucky traumatic brain injury attorney to know what your legal options are for your case.

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