Matt tells a story about a legislative meeting he had during the effort to get funding through the Pennsylvania legislature. He’d just heard the good news that one of the subjects in the Krassioukov trials had recovered the ability to have an orgasm after almost six years post injury. Thinking it would be the sort of thing anybody could relate to and celebrate as a win for science, he mentioned it. One of the legislators shut him down, saying, “I do not need to hear that word.”
(Orgasm! Orgasm, orgasm, orgasm! Some people bring out the brat in me.)
We’ve talked a lot about how in the nerves these systems are co-located. How much do we know about that? Can these be separated? Should every bowel study address both bladder and sexual function, and so on?
We understand that the state of the bladder affects bowel function. We are looking at all these functions at the same time in all of our studies. It’s difficult because there’s not even a working definition of orgasm.
In the nerve transfer world, we’re trying to limit the targets. But it may be that a nerve transfer to the pudendal nerve (for bladder return) also activates the clitoris.
There’s an international scale (IIEF) that could serve as a model for our work with patients. We need a questionnaire that can capture what patients can tell us.
This is a situation where the field is behind the community.
They’re agreeing that crosstalk among researchers is very important …