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Keywords:

  • Clitoris;
  • Female Sexual Dysfunction;
  • Orgasmic Disorder;
  • Pelvic MRI

Abstract

Introduction

The female sexual response is dynamic; anatomic mechanisms may ease or enhance the intensity of orgasm.

Aim

The aim of this study is to evaluate the clitoral size and location with regard to female sexual function.

Methods

This cross-sectional TriHealth Institutional Board Review approved study compared 10 sexually active women with anorgasmia to 20 orgasmic women matched by age and body mass index (BMI). Data included demographics, sexual history, serum hormone levels, Prolapse/Incontinence Sexual Questionnaire-12 (PISQ-12), Female Sexual Function Index (FSFI), Body Exposure during Sexual Activity Questionnaire (BESAQ), and Short Form Health Survey-12. All subjects underwent pelvic magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) without contrast; measurements of the clitoris were calculated.

Main Outcome Measures

Our primary outcomes were clitoral size and location as measured by noncontrast MRI imaging in sagittal, coronal, and axial planes.

Results

Thirty premenopausal women completed the study. The mean age was 32 years (standard deviation [SD] 7), mean BMI 25 (SD 4). The majority was white (90%) and married (61%). Total PISQ-12 (P < 0.001) and total FSFI (P < 0.001) were higher for orgasmic subjects, indicating better sexual function. On MRI, the area of the clitoral glans in coronal view was significantly smaller for the anorgasmic group (P = 0.005). A larger distance from the clitoral glans (51 vs. 45 mm, P = 0.049) and body (29 vs. 21 mm, P = 0.008) to the vaginal lumen was found in the anorgasmic subjects. For the entire sample, larger distance between the clitoris and the vagina correlated with poorer scores on the PISQ-12 (r = −0.44, P = 0.02), FSFI (r = −0.43, P = 0.02), and BESAQ (r = −0.37, P = 0.04).

Conclusion

Women with anorgasmia possessed a smaller clitoral glans and clitoral components farther from the vaginal lumen than women with normal orgasmic function. Oakley SH, Vaccaro CM, Crisp CC, Estanol MV, Fellner AN, Kleeman SD, and Pauls RN. Clitoral size and location in relation to sexual function using pelvic MRI. J Sex Med 2014;11:1013–1022.