Even when the benefits to getting the word out are obvious, you have to wonder sometimes how some news stories come [sic] about.
For example, this almost hilariously uncomfortable AP story about how most men with spinal cord injuries can still father children, but that a study of 100 fertility clinics published last October showed that 28 percent of them [or as I like to put it, 28 of them] "don’t offer two simple techniques that rehab experts have used successfully for years and that work for 95 percent of paraplegic and quadriplegic men."
So six months ago, someone found out 72% of fertility clinics do offer these "two simple techniques" for collecting sperm from SCI guys? And "rehab experts" have been using them for years, so if a paralyzed guy is in rehab at some point and is thinking about whether he'll ever be able to have kids, he's probably heard of these "two simple techniques"?
Enough already, show me the money shot, lady.
So. According to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine's SCI fact sheet [pdf] medical-strength vibrators can produce an ejaculation for over 80% of paralyzed men. [It's more effective with upper SCI, i.e., lesions above the tenth thoracic vertabra, T10.]
Though this is something you can try at home, standard consumer-grade vibrators are usually not strong enough, and since there are some blood pressure considerations, it's important to consult your physician before plugging in.
Here's how the AP article explains how one dad came [heh] to be a father:
What helped in Geoff’s case was a device that triggers ejaculation with a low-voltage impulse of electricity, a procedure borrowed from animal husbandry...No mention of the term for the procedure, electroejaculation, nor that the nerves being stimulated are near the prostate gland.
Still, if the guy next door to you in the dorms freshman year was a rancher from Burley, Idaho, and he used to brag about how many bulls he got off, and how much easier and effective it was to electroejaculate them than to palpate their prostates by hand, then I guess you don't need a squeamish reporter to spell it out for you.
Paralyzed Men Can Father Children [msnbc/ap]