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J Psychosom Obstet Gynaecol. 2004 Jun;25(2):153-62.

MRI of female genital and pelvic organs during sexual arousal.

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  • 1Department of Urology, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195-6510, USA.


We utilized contrast enhanced magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to delineate the anatomy of the female genital and pelvic organs during sexual arousal. Eleven healthy pre-menopausal women and eight healthy post-menopausal women underwent MRI of the pelvis while watching an erotic video. A 1.5 Tesla MR system was used to produce T1-weighted images following administration of MS-325, a gadolinium-based blood pool contrast agent. Selected structural dimensions and enhancement were measured prior to and during sexual arousal. In both pre- and post-menopausal subjects, vestibular bulb and labia minora width increased with arousal. Enhancement measurements increased in the bulb, labia minora and clitoris in both pre- and post-menopausal subjects, and in the vagina in pre-menopausal subjects. There were no marked changes in size or enhancement of the labia majora, urethra, cervix, or rectum during sexual arousal in pre- or post-menopausal subjects. Using MRI, we observed specific changes in the female genitalia and pelvic organs with sexual arousal, in both pre- and post-menopausal women. MRI can potentially provide detailed anatomical information in the assessment of female sexual function, particularly with regard to changes in blood flow.

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