Patients who have male-to-female gender reassignment surgery (GRS) tend to be satisfied with the function of their neoclitoris, according to a recent Journal of Sexual Medicine study.
For individuals transitioning from male to female, GRS generally includes vaginoplasty (creation of a vagina) and clitoroplasty (creation of a clitoris). The latter procedure often involves constructing a clitoris using tissue from the glans penis, as the two anatomical areas are comparable.
However, few studies have focused on the long-term sensitivity and function of the neoclitoris after surgery. The present study analyzed these aspects further.
Data were collected from twenty-two transgender women between the ages of 23 and 63 who had had male-to-female GRS between January 2011 and June 2015. On average, the follow-up time from their initial GRS was 37 months.
The participants answered questions about body image, orgasm history since surgery, feelings of genital pain or discomfort, and their overall satisfaction with GRS.
Researchers also measured neo-clitoral tactile sensitivity using filaments applied to the skin. During this test, the women indicated when sensations and vibrations appeared and disappeared.
“All patients showed sensitivity at good to acceptable thresholds for vibratory and tactile stimuli,” the authors wrote.
Overall, nineteen women (86%) were able to reach orgasm, and one (4.5%) was not. Two of the participants (9%) had not tried achieving orgasm.
Eighty-six percent of the women said they were pain-free. The rest reported low levels of pain. Similarly, 86% of the patients said they were satisfied with their GRS. The rest said they were neither satisfied nor dissatisfied.
Complications from surgery did not seem to have any effect on neo-clitoral sensation or ability to orgasm.
The authors noted that the results could not be generalized because of the small sample size. Also, the researchers did not know about the patients’ orgasmic function before surgery.
“Future research should examine patient-reported preoperative functionality and measure sensitivity thresholds for postoperative comparison,” they added.
The Journal of Sexual Medicine
Sigurjónsson, Hannes, MD, PhD, et al.
“Long-Term Sensitivity and Patient-Reported Functionality of the Neoclitoris After Gender Reassignment Surgery”
(Full-text. Published online: January 10, 2017)