Study design: Multicenter cross-sectional study. Objectives: To determine the prevalence of parenthood in long-term wheelchair-dependent persons who sustained a spinal cord injury (SCI) during their reproductive years. Secondary aims were to (1) explore patient-specific and disease-related factors associated with parenthood after SCI; and (2) quantify fertility aids used by men with SCI. Setting: Eight specialized SCI rehabilitation centers in the Netherlands. Methods: Questionnaires and physical examination were applied in 255 persons with SCI. Prevalence rates of parenthood among the general Dutch population were used for comparison. Logistic regression analyses were used to explore factors associated with parenthood after SCI. Results: Prevalence of parenthood in SCI was 50% in men and 45% in women, which was significantly (P < 0.05) lower than rates in the general population (74% in men and 81% in women). Among the parents with SCI, most (66% of males and 72% of females) of them had children after SCI. Parenting children after SCI was associated with partnership (OR = 14.5, P < .001 [men]; OR = 3.7, P = .05 [women]), normal micturition (OR = 4.9, P = .02 [men]), incomplete lesion (OR = 5.4, P = .03 [women]), and paraplegia (OR = 7.3, P = .02 [women]). The most frequently used methods for ejaculation and fertilization were electroejaculation (29%) and intracytoplasmatic sperm injection (23%). Conclusions: Prevalence of parenthood in SCI persons is low. However, half of the persons with SCI do become parents, with most doing so following SCI. Demographic and disease-related factors may contribute to this.

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Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41393-018-0060-8, hdl.handle.net/1765/104154
Journal Spinal Cord
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Citation
van Den Borne, K. (K.), Brands, I. (I.), Spijkerman, D, Adriaansen, J.J.E, Postma, K, & van den Berg-Emons, H.J.G. (2018). Prevalence of parenthood in wheelchair-dependent persons with long-term spinal cord injury in the Netherlands. Spinal Cord, 1–7. doi:10.1038/s41393-018-0060-8