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How do women deal with menstruation after a spinal cord injury?

How do women deal with menstruation after a spinal cord injury?

Diane M. Rowles, MS, NP

Nurse Practitioner, Spinal Cord Injury Rehabilitation Program, Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago

Read Bio More Videos by Diane M. Rowles
Transcript
Okay, so for women who are starting to have their menses return, or don’t miss a menses, cause some don’t miss a menses, many times pads will be used early on in the hospital because they’re easier, they’re quicker, they’... Show More

Okay, so for women who are starting to have their menses return, or don’t miss a menses, cause some don’t miss a menses, many times pads will be used early on in the hospital because they’re easier, they’re quicker, they’re non-invasive. If a woman has decreased hand function, she may or may not be able to put the tampon in by herself. That doesn’t mean that she can’t use tampons, it just means we have to find somebody who is willing to put it in and change it for her. I’ve taught many significant others, many a parent how to do that, and it’s a fine option. Some women chose to use pads until they get to know their body a little bit better, they get used to their body a little bit. But the thing, the important thing for them to know is if they want to go back to using tampons, they should, and they can and there’s not a harm. I do ask them to change them a little bit more frequently, because if the woman has altered sensation in the genital area, if it was to become over-filled, or if there’s a problem with placement, they could have a medical condition called dysreflexia from it causing discomfort down there. So I do ask them to change it a little more frequently than maybe they would have if they didn’t have a spinal cord injury, and that’s due to lack of sensation and potential complications of the lack of sensation. But many times they’re catheterizing anyway, so changing a pad when they’re doing a catheterization is pretty easy. So for women who wear a catheter, an indwelling catheter, they have a catheter in all the time, the tampon goes in a different hole, so it’s absolutely not a problem, it can still be used. Just the person, if they can’t put it in and take it out themselves, they have to trust the the person is going to do it correctly and safely.

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How do women deal with menstruation after a spinal cord injury?

Diane M. Rowles, MS, NP

Nurse Practitioner, Spinal Cord Injury Rehabilitation Program, Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago

More Videos by Diane M. Rowles
Transcriptadd

Okay, so for women who are starting to have their menses return, or don’t miss a menses, cause some don’t miss a menses, many times pads will be used early on in the hospital because they’re easier, they’re quicker, they’re non-invasive. If a woman has decreased hand function, she may or may not be able to put the tampon in by herself. That doesn’t mean that she can’t use tampons, it just means we have to find somebody who is willing to put it in and change it for her. I’ve taught many significant others, many a parent how to do that, and it’s a fine option. Some women chose to use pads until they get to know their body a little bit better, they get used to their body a little bit. But the thing, the important thing for them to know is if they want to go back to using tampons, they should, and they can and there’s not a harm. I do ask them to change them a little bit more frequently, because if the woman has altered sensation in the genital area, if it was to become over-filled, or if there’s a problem with placement, they could have a medical condition called dysreflexia from it causing discomfort down there. So I do ask them to change it a little more frequently than maybe they would have if they didn’t have a spinal cord injury, and that’s due to lack of sensation and potential complications of the lack of sensation. But many times they’re catheterizing anyway, so changing a pad when they’re doing a catheterization is pretty easy. So for women who wear a catheter, an indwelling catheter, they have a catheter in all the time, the tampon goes in a different hole, so it’s absolutely not a problem, it can still be used. Just the person, if they can’t put it in and take it out themselves, they have to trust the the person is going to do it correctly and safely.

How do women deal with menstruation after a spinal cord injury?
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