What is cerebral palsy? Cerebral palsy is a physical disability. The results in physical difficulties with muscle movement, balance, body stiffness. People with cerebral palsy can expect trouble swallowing, talking, and eating, reading, holding their hands up, or bending of the hips or knees. The ability levels of those with CP vary greatly. One person may be confined to a wheelchair and lifelong feeding tubes. While people with a mild case may appear to be without disability, but may appear to walk a little awkwardly. Cerebral palsy is caused by brain damage to their cerebral while a fetus for newborns brain is actively developing, including during and after birth. Because of brain damage, it is common for other disabilities to coincide with CP, such as mental or intellectual delay, disability, seizures, and depending upon the severity, vision or hearing problems. Usually CP is diagnosed based on which part of the brain is affected and what symptoms are shown. What are the forms of cerebral palsy? There are four forms of CP, spasticity, dyskinesia, ataxia, and mixed. Spastic damage of the cerebral cortex results in excessive stiff and tight muscles. This is the most common form of CP and has varying levels of severity. Dyskinetic, damage of the basal ganglia and cerebellum. Results in uncomfortable muscle movements, tremors and balance issues. Ataxic, damage of the cerebellum results in poor balance and coordination. Finally, we have mixed, which is relating to the damage to multiple parts of the brain, shows symptoms of both spastic and dyskinetic forms. What are the levels in severity or spastic CP? There are four levels of severity. Monoplegia, hemiplegia, diplegia and quadriplegia. Monoplegia relates to specificity in one limp, commonly in one arm. Hemiplegia relates to one side of the body, when one side of the body is spastic, left or right. Diplegia, this is when both legs are spastic. Quadriplegia, all forelimbs are spastic. Currently there are range of treatments available to help improve symptoms. These include oral medication, physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, orthotics, such as leg braces, muscular injections and medications such as botulinum toxic, Botox and funnel. Surgical insertion of a medical pump delivers medication continually to the spinal fluid in small amounts to lower muscle tension. Selective dorsal rhizotomy surgery. Cutting nerve, rootlets and spine responsible for abnormal communications between the brain, spinal cord and muscles to alleviate specificity, improve mobility and range of motion. Bone reconstructive surgeries, aid in better walking balance and overall mobility, as well as pain management. Let's delve into some interesting facts and statistics. Cerebral palsy, the most common disability among children. In the US, one in 500 babies are diagnosed with CP. Globally, over 17 million people have CP and there is no known cure for CP. One in two to people with CP live in chronic pain, one in three cannot walk, one in five cannot talk and one in 10 have severe vision impairment. Depression is three to four times higher than those without CP. Cerebral palsy and sex. Despite common assumptions, a person with CP most definitely can experience sexual arousal, attraction, and intimacy. Sometimes parents of children with more severe forms of CP, feel they don't need to give their children the sex talk or guidelines because they do not think that children will grow up to be sexual beings or sexually active. This is often false. These assumptions deprive youth with disabilities necessary sex education that can help them understand themselves as sexual beings. As well as provide vital information on topics such as sexual health, anatomy, pregnancy. All people are sexual beings. There are certain challenges to some in finding meaningful ways of expressing their sexuality. Although it is important to keep in mind, those living with CP may face obstacles when it comes to being a sexual individual, such as limited flexibility or range of motion from spasticity with masturbation or certain positions during partnered sex. Rabble consent can be harder to give if the person has a speech impairment. Finding romantic sexual partners due to viewing the disabled as childish or incapable of independence. Personal body image, insecurities of anxieties around sex, intimacy and romantic relationships. These possible barriers to pursuing meaningful romantic and sexual relationships can cause the individual to feel unappealing, unworthy of love and lonely. Because so many people who have CP can have such a wide range in the severity of the disability, dating and romance can be either easy and painless, nearly non-existent, or somewhere in between the two. Either way, living with CP can make an individual fear rejection from romantic interests and even cause them to be afraid of forming intimate relationships with others. Emotional, mental, physical, and sexual stereotypes in society tend to view people with CP as not being able to be sexually active or as not sexually attractive. This can be extremely harmful to one's mental and emotional well-being, as well as their self-esteem and body-image. When someone would CP struggles with themselves in any of these areas, the dating scene is almost impossible to work through successfully and with confidence. Cerebral palsy and pregnancy. Generally, there is no reason why a woman with CP should not have a baby with no great risk of miscarriage or premature birth. Pregnancy should have no lasting adverse effect on your cerebral palsy. However, individual concerns should be discussed with your doctor or other health professionals. Balance issues for the mother can become worse when the baby is more fully developed in the womb and is higher in weight. Muscle spasticity and physical pain can also become worse when mothers are closer to their due date. Childbirth can be an additional challenge, specifically if the mother has difficulty spreading their legs or relaxing the body's muscles during active labor. There may also be male fertility issues including retrograde ejaculation if producing a pregnancy with one's partner is desired.