Coital Urinary Incontinence Induced by Impairment of the Dorsal Nerve of the Clitoris in Rats

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Abstract

Purpose

We determined the effect of chronic bilateral neurectomy of the dorsal nerve of the clitoris on urinary parameters and sexual behavior of conscious female rats.

Materials and Methods

A total of 18 anesthetized virgin female Wistar rats were used in this study, including 11 that underwent bilateral neurectomy of the dorsal nerve of the clitoris and 7 that underwent sham surgery. Urinary parameters were determined in awake animals preoperatively, and 3 and 10 days postoperatively. Sexual behavior was tested 14 days postoperatively to determine whether the females expelled urine during sexual encounters. After male ejaculation the females were anesthetized with urethane to record external urethral sphincter electromyogram activity in response to clitoris, perigenital skin and vaginal stimulation. Neurectomy was corroborated anatomically.

Results

Sham surgery did not significantly modify urinary parameter values. However, bilateral neurectomy of the dorsal nerve of the clitoris significantly increased voiding frequency and voiding duration (p <0.05). It did not significantly affect the flow rate, voided volume or voiding interval. Of females that underwent bilateral neurectomy of the dorsal nerve of the clitoris 67% expelled urine just after male ejaculation.

Conclusions

These results suggest that the pudendal nerve is an important neural pathway in the convergence and crosstalk of female urogenital neural circuits, and genital deafferentation may be a causal factor of coital urinary incontinence. Rats with bilateral transection of the dorsal nerve of the clitoris may serve as an animal model of coital incontinence.

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