Menstrual cycle-related morphometric and vascular modifications of the clitoris

Cesare Battaglia, Rossella Elena Nappi, Fulvia Mancini, Arianna Cianciosi, Nicola Persico, Paolo Busacchi, Fabio Facchinetti, Domenico De Aloysio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Introduction. The evaluation of clitoral anatomy and function is of paramount importance to understand the physiology and pathology of clitoral function. Aim. To prospectively evaluate the clitoral volumetric and vascular modifications during the menstrual cycle, and analyze their relationship with circulating hormones and nitric oxide levels. Methods. Thirty healthy eumenorrheic women were studied in different phases of the menstrual cycle (day 3, 10, 14, 20, and 27). They were submitted to ultrasonographic (US) and Doppler analyses, and to hormonal and biochemical evaluations. Main Outcome Measures. Transvaginal US evaluation of uterus, ovaries, and clitoris; Doppler analysis of uterine and dorsal clitoral arteries; and measurement of plasma luteinizing hormone (LH), follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), estradiol, androstenedione, testosterone, and nitrites/ nitrates concentration. Sex hormone binding globulin was assayed, and free androgen index was calculated. Results. During the menstrual cycle, FSH, LH, and estradiol changed as expected, whereas androgens did not show any significant change. The US assessment of the clitoral body volume evidenced a progressive increase with significant modifications during the periovulatory phase, after which it remained stable until day 20. Subsequently, the clitoral body volume decreased into the premenstrual phase (day 27), reaching values similar to those observed on cycle day 3. A comparable trend was observed in the nitrite/nitrate circulating values. The uterine and clitoral arteries presented significant modifications with reduced resistances in the periovulatory period. Estradiol levels resulted positively correlated with the clitoral body volume and inversely correlated with the dorsal clitoral artery pulsatility index (PI). Furthermore, the dorsal clitoral artery PI was inversely and significantly correlated with the nitrite/nitrate circulating values and the clitoral body volume. Conclusions. Clitoral anatomic and vascular modifications are observable during the normal menstrual cycle.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2853-2861
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Sexual Medicine
Volume5
Issue number12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2008

Fingerprint

Clitoris
Menstrual Cycle
Blood Vessels
Nitrites
Nitrates
Estradiol
Arteries
Follicle Stimulating Hormone
Luteinizing Hormone
Androgens
Uterine Artery
Sex Hormone-Binding Globulin
Androstenedione
Uterus
Testosterone
Ovary
Anatomy
Nitric Oxide
Outcome Assessment (Health Care)
Hormones

Keywords

  • Clitoris
  • Hormones
  • Menstrual Cycle
  • MRI
  • Ultrasound

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology
  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology
  • Reproductive Medicine

Cite this

Menstrual cycle-related morphometric and vascular modifications of the clitoris. / Battaglia, Cesare; Nappi, Rossella Elena; Mancini, Fulvia; Cianciosi, Arianna; Persico, Nicola; Busacchi, Paolo; Facchinetti, Fabio; De Aloysio, Domenico.

In: Journal of Sexual Medicine, Vol. 5, No. 12, 2008, p. 2853-2861.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Battaglia, C, Nappi, RE, Mancini, F, Cianciosi, A, Persico, N, Busacchi, P, Facchinetti, F & De Aloysio, D 2008, 'Menstrual cycle-related morphometric and vascular modifications of the clitoris', Journal of Sexual Medicine, vol. 5, no. 12, pp. 2853-2861. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1743-6109.2008.00972.x
Battaglia, Cesare ; Nappi, Rossella Elena ; Mancini, Fulvia ; Cianciosi, Arianna ; Persico, Nicola ; Busacchi, Paolo ; Facchinetti, Fabio ; De Aloysio, Domenico. / Menstrual cycle-related morphometric and vascular modifications of the clitoris. In: Journal of Sexual Medicine. 2008 ; Vol. 5, No. 12. pp. 2853-2861.
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AU - Battaglia, Cesare

AU - Nappi, Rossella Elena

AU - Mancini, Fulvia

AU - Cianciosi, Arianna

AU - Persico, Nicola

AU - Busacchi, Paolo

AU - Facchinetti, Fabio

AU - De Aloysio, Domenico

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KW - Clitoris

KW - Hormones

KW - Menstrual Cycle

KW - MRI

KW - Ultrasound

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