Sexual dysfunction is prevalent in women with Mayer-Rokitansky-Küster-Hauser syndrome after the creation of a neovagina. Insight into the physiologic response of the neovagina during sexual arousal is lacking, although this would help in the understanding of sexual function of these patients. The physiologic sexual response of the vagina can be measured objectively by vaginal photoplethysmography to assess vaginal blood flow.OBJECTIVE:
Testing whether the physiologic and subjective sexual response in women with Mayer-Rokitansky-Küster-Hauser syndrome with a neovagina differs from the response in women with a natal vagina.STUDY DESIGN:
Vaginal blood flow (vaginal pulse amplitude) and subjective sexual responses during neutral and erotic film viewing were assessed in premenopausal women with Mayer-Rokitansky-Küster-Hauser syndrome with a nonsurgically created neovagina (n=15) and were compared with responses of an age-matched control group (n=21).RESULTS:
All women with Mayer-Rokitansky-Küster-Hauser syndrome had created their neovagina themselves by dilation. Women with Mayer-Rokitansky-Küster-Hauser syndrome showed a significantly smaller vaginal pulse amplitude compared with control subjects during neutral film viewing (P=.002). In both groups, vaginal pulse amplitude increased significantly during erotic film viewing, but this increase was significantly smaller in the Mayer-Rokitansky-Küster-Hauser syndrome group (P<.005). Levels of subjective sexual arousal did not significantly differ between the 2 groups (P>.2).CONCLUSION:
Women with Mayer-Rokitansky-Küster-Hauser syndrome with a nonsurgically created neovagina showed a weaker vaginal blood flow response during visual sexual stimulation and poorer basal blood flow compared with control subjects. The differences in vaginal blood flow may be related to less vascularization and innervation of the neovagina compared with the natal vagina. The weaker vaginal sexual response can play a role in sexual dysfunction; however, despite the weaker vaginal response, women with Mayer-Rokitansky-Küster-Hauser syndrome did not differ in their level of subjective sexual arousal. Future studies may compare vaginal blood flow and subjective sexual response of women with Mayer-Rokitansky-Küster-Hauser syndrome with nonsurgically and surgically created vaginas.