The Evaluation of Clitoral Blood Flow and Sexual Function in Elite Female Athletes


Omer Faruk Karatas, MD, FEBU, Department of Urology, School of Medicine, Fatih University, Alparslan Turkes Cd. No: 57, 06510, Bestepe, Ankara, Turkey. Tel: +90 312 203 5555; Fax: +90 312 203 3670; E-mail:


Introduction.  Clitoral blood flow measurements using clitoral color Doppler ultrasound have been performed with increasing frequency either in order to assessment of female sexual function/dysfunction. The trials to evaluate the sexual function in healthy subjects, especially in the subgroup of female elite athletes, are limited.

Aim.  The aim of the study was to evaluate whether elite female athletes and sedentary healthy females differ in their clitoral blood flow and sexual function as an expression of their physical fitness status.

Methods.  Twenty-five female elite athletes (Group I) and healthy female subjects (Group II) were enrolled as volunteers in the study. All women were instructed to complete the Female Sexual Function Index (FSFI) questionnaire. Each subject underwent high definition color Doppler ultrasonography to measure the clitoral blood flow parameters.

Main Outcome Measures.  The effect of physical activity on clitoral blood flow and sexual life in women.

Results.  Mean age, mean age of menarche, mean marriage age, and body mass index were similar for both groups. In Group I, the mean peak systolic velocity and end-diastolic velocity were higher than those of Group II, whereas the mean RI was similar for both groups. There were statistically significant differences for total FSFI score and all domain scores, except desire domain, between both groups.

Conclusion.  In elite female athletes as compared with sedentary healthy females, better clitoral blood flow and better sexual function were demonstrated. Therefore it seems superior physical fitness correlates with better sexual function. Karatas OF, Baltaci G, Ilerisoy Z, Bayrak O, Cimentepe E, Irmak R, and Unal D. The evaluation of clitoral blood flow and sexual function in elite female athletes. J Sex Med 2010;7:1185–1189.