Pelvic nerve-evoked female sexual response
In women, sexual arousal includes two components : genital and psychogenic arousal. Genital sexual arousal is characterized by a rapid increase of blood supply to the vaginal epithelium and at the same time a reduction of venous drainage, thus creating vasocongestion and engorgement with blood. Such an increase in blood flow combined with an enhanced permeability of the capillary tufts induces a neurogenic transudate, which results in vaginal lubrication. We have developed a reliable and standardized model to study the physiology/pharmacology of female vaginal sexual arousal in the adult female rat.
In this model, vaginal sexual arousal is induced by electrical pelvic nerve stimulation (nerves placed on bipolar platinum stimulating electrodes connected to an electrical stimulator delivering a series of square-wave pulses while direct measurements of various vaginal physiological variables are performed. Blood pressure, vaginal LDPM, vaginal PO2, vaginal wall tension, and vaginal temperature were the physiological parameters measured. For each parameter, we determined the baseline value before the stimulation and the maximal value reached with the stimulation.
Latency (i.e. time separating the onset of the electrical stimulation from the parameter to rise over the mean ±3 SDs of the value before the stimulation) and duration of the variation of :
- vaginal laser Doppler perfusion measurement (LDPM)
- vaginal O2 tension
- vaginal temperature
- vaginal contractile activity
- pelvic nerve stimulation
- clitoris stimulation
Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol (2001) : 281:R140-149
Links to applicable Targeted disorders / Pathophysiological models