, Volume 63, Issue 1, pp 177–181 | Cite as

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 GazzarusoEmail author
Endocrine Methods and Techniques



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.


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.


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.


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.


Female sexuality Oxygen tension Cardiovascular risk Clitoris Tissue perfusion 



This study was funded by Istituto Clinico Beato Matteo, Vigevano (current research)

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. The informed consent was obtained from all the subjects recruited in the study.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained by all the subjects recruited in the study.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Diabetes and Endocrine and Metabolic Diseases Unit and the Centre for Applied Clinical Research (Ce.R.C.A.) Clinical Institute “Beato Matteo” (Hospital Group San Donato)VigevanoItaly
  2. 2.Nutrition Unit, Department of Clinical and Experimental MedicineUniversity Magna GreciaCatanzaroItaly
  3. 3.Department of Biomedical Sciences for HealthUniversity of MilanMilanItaly
  4. 4.Metabolism Research CenterIRCCS Policlinico San DonatoSan Donato MilaneseItaly
  5. 5.Chair of EndocrinologySan Raffaele Vita-Salute UniversityMilanItaly

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