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J Sex Med. 2014 Jul;11(7):1741-8. doi: 10.1111/jsm.12547. Epub 2014 May 8.

The assessment of sensory detection thresholds on the perineum and breast compared with control body sites.

Author information

1
Department of Sexology, Université du Québec à Montréal, Montreal, QC, Canada.

Abstract

INTRODUCTION:

Few studies explored multiple sensory detection thresholds on the perineum and breast, but these normative data may provide standards for clinical conditions such as aging, genital and breast surgeries, pathological conditions affecting the genitals, and sexual function.

AIMS:

The aim of this study was to provide normative data on sensory detection thresholds of three sensory modalities on the perineum and breast.

METHODS:

Thirty healthy women aged between 18 and 35 years were assessed on the perineum (clitoris, labia minora, vaginal, and anal margin), breast (lateral, areola, nipple), and control body locations (neck, forearm, abdomen) for three sensory modalities (light touch, pressure, vibration).

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

Average detection thresholds for each body location and sensory modality and statistical comparisons between the primary genital, secondary sexual, and neutral zones were the main outcome measures.

RESULTS:

Average detection thresholds for light touch suggest that the neck, forearm, and vaginal margin are most sensitive, and areola least sensitive. No statistical difference is found between the primary and secondary sexual zones, but the secondary sexual zone is significantly more sensitive than the neutral zone. Average detection thresholds for pressure suggest that the clitoris and nipple are most sensitive, and the lateral breast and abdomen least sensitive. No statistical difference is found between the primary and secondary sexual zone, but they are both significantly more sensitive than the neutral zone. Average detection thresholds for vibration suggest that the clitoris and nipple are most sensitive. The secondary sexual zone is significantly more sensitive than the primary and neutral zone, but the latter two show no difference.

CONCLUSION:

The current normative data from sensory detection threshold are discussed in terms of providing standard values for research and clinical conditions. Additional analysis from breast volume, body mass index, hormonal contraception, menstrual cycle, and sexual orientation do not seem to influence the results. Sexual abstinence and body piercing may have some impact.

KEYWORDS:

Breast Sensation; Cutaneous Sensitivity; Genital and Perineal Sensation; Semmes-Weinstein Monofilaments; Sensory Detection Threshold; Vulvalgesiometer

PMID:
24805931
DOI:
10.1111/jsm.12547
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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