206 chapter 9: Family planning
Family planning and paralysis
If you are a woman with no feeling in your lower body (from paralysis caused by
polio, or a spinal cord injury), and you do not want to get
pregnant, here are some guidelines to help you choose a
method (some of these methods may not be
available in every community):
Fewer children can
mean more time
for yourself and the
Barrier methods (condom for
children you have.
men, condom for women,
diaphragm, cap, sponge,
spermicide). You may
need assistance using
the methods that are
inserted into the vagina.
implants, IUD with
hormones). You can use
hormonal methods that contain estrogen if you are active every day (push your own
wheelchair or cart, do exercises, do household work like sweeping, or digging in the
garden). You should not use hormonal methods that contain estrogen if you:
• sit still all day or do not get any exercise.
• ever had a blood clot anywhere in your body.
• ever had signs of a stroke or heart disease.
• have any type of cancer.
• are over age 35.
• smoke cigarettes, or chew or snort tobacco or snuff.
If you become paralyzed as an adult, do not start using hormonal methods until
6 months after your injury.
Intrauterine device (IUD). Some of the problems that can happen with an IUD, such
as the IUD coming out, or an infection, usually cause pain which lets a woman
know something is wrong. As you will not be able to feel pain, it is probably best
for you not to use this method. If you do want to use it, make sure you can get
checked regularly by an experienced health worker.
A Health Handbook for Women with Disabilities 2007