Transmucosal oxygen tension of the clitoris: a new parameter for future investigations of the sexual, metabolic, and cardiovascular health of women

A. Coppola, T. Montalcini, P. Gallotti, L. Luzi, A. Pujia, A. Giustina, C. Gazzaruso

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Several studies suggested that abnormalities in tissue perfusion of external genitalia and vagina can lead to female sexual dysfunctions (FSDs) and can be associated to metabolic and cardiovascular risk factors. However, there are some technical difficulties in assessing these abnormalities. The measurement of oxygen partial pressure is a noninvasive method to measure oxygen partial pressure (pO 2 ) at the skin surface to assess tissue perfusion. The aim of this study was to evaluate whether transmucosal oxygen tension (TmPO 2 ) can be measured at the mucosal surface of clitoris and whether the measurements are reliable. Methods: TmPO 2 was measured in six young healthy women by using a device to measure transcutaneous pO 2 on the skin and by choosing a small sensor, usually used for newborns. The identical procedure for the detection of pO 2 at the skin surface was used. Results: The mean value of TmPO 2 was 42.3 mmHg (range: 24.1–53.4 mmHg). All the trend curves of the TmPO 2 showed the same behavior: after a stabilization time, there was a stable pO 2 (plateau phase) that corresponds to the TmPO 2 of the clitoris. These curves had a similar trend to those recorded at the skin surface. Conclusions: TmPO 2 can be easily measured at the mucosal surface of clitoris. Large epidemiological studies in healthy and unhealthy women and in women with FSD are needed to establish both the normal range of TmPO 2 and the meaning that different values of TmPO 2 can have on sexual and general health of the women.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)177-181
Number of pages5
JournalEndocrine
Volume63
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 15 2019

Keywords

  • Cardiovascular risk
  • Clitoris
  • Female sexuality
  • Oxygen tension
  • Tissue perfusion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology

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