Neurally Augmented Sexual Function in Human Females: A Preliminary Investigation


  • This work was funded by a grant from Lifestim Inc. Electrodes were provided at no or reduced cost by Advanced Neuromodulation Systems and Medtronic Neurological.

Address correspondence and reprint requests to: T. Stuart Meloy, MD, Advanced Interventional Pain Management, PA, 145 Kimel Park Dr. Ste 320, Winston-Salem, NC 27103, USA. Email:


Objective.  Neurally augmented sexual function (NASF) is the production of pleasurable genital stimulation and subsequent orgasm through the application of electrical energy to provide stimulation of the spinal cord or peripheral nerves. The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate the reproducibility of this phenomenon.

Materials and Methods.  Eleven otherwise healthy women, ages 32–60 years, were selected for this study. Through standard techniques, quadripolar (octopolar in the final patient) leads were placed in the epidural space percutaneuously. The lead was maneuvered initially to an L1–L2 position and then repositioned based on feedback from the patient. The patients were allowed to utilize the device ad libitum for up to 9 days.

Results.  Successful stimulation was achieved in 91% (10/11) of patients. These women described a greater frequency in sexual activity, increased lubrication, and overall satisfaction. A smaller subset had substantial improvement in sexual function as measured by orgasmic capacity. This subset consisted of women with secondary anorgasmia. A return of orgasmic capacity was found in 80% (4/5) of patients having secondary anorgasmia with an average intensity of ≥ 3/5 while using the device. Once the device was removed, the patients returned to their previous anorgasmic status.

Conclusions.  Pleasurable genital stimulation of the spinal cord is a consistently reproducible phenomenon. In a subset of the population studied, improvement in orgasmic function was noted. This was noted in the group with secondary orgasmic dysfunction.