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 journalArticle

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 (pO2) at the skin surface to assess tissue perfusion. The aim of this study was to evaluate whether transmucosal oxygen tension (TmPO2) can be measured at the mucosal surface of clitoris and whether the measurements are reliable. Methods: TmPO2 was measured in six young healthy women by using a device to measure transcutaneous pO2 on the skin and by choosing a small sensor, usually used for newborns. The identical procedure for the detection of pO2 at the skin surface was used. Results: The mean value of TmPO2 was 42.3 mmHg (range: 24.1–53.4 mmHg). All the trend curves of the TmPO2 showed the same behavior: after a stabilization time, there was a stable pO2 (plateau phase) that corresponds to the TmPO2 of the clitoris. These curves had a similar trend to those recorded at the skin surface. Conclusions: TmPO2 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 TmPO2 and the meaning that different values of TmPO2 can have on sexual and general health of the women. © 2018, Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)177-181
Number of pages5
JournalEndocrine
Volume63
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019

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