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Genital Sensory Detection Thresholds and Patient Satisfaction With Vaginoplasty in Male-to-Female Transgender Women

15 February 2017

Publication Date
February 2017

Original Abstract
Gender-affirming surgery is common for the treatment of gender dysphoria, but its effect on genital sensitivity is not well known.

To investigate genital sensory detection thresholds in male-to-female transgender women postoperatively and their relation to psychological well-being and variables of satisfaction.

Prospective study on 28 transgender women at least 18 years old operated on at least 3 months before the study by a single surgeon (N.M.J.). Medical complications; sensory detection thresholds for light touch, pressure, and vibration; and questionnaires on general and sexual satisfaction, sexual function, depression, and psychological well-being.

Sensory detection thresholds ranged from 0.07 to 2.82 g for light touch, with the neck being most sensitive; from 20.23 to 34.64 g for pressure, with similar results for the neck and clitoris; and from 0.0052 to 0.0111 V for vibration, with similar findings for all stimulation points. Satisfaction with the appearance of the labia, vulva, clitoris, and sexual function was good to very good. Frequency of sexual activities increased significantly postoperatively for orogenital stimulation and decreased significantly for frequency of fantasies (t = -4.81; P < .0001).

Orgasmic function was reported by 80% of participants. Psychological adjustment was good to very good, with low depression scores. Sexual satisfaction was statistically and positively correlated with vaginal function and depth, clitoral sensation, appearance of the vulva and labia minora, and natural lubrication and negatively correlated with depression scores.

Gender-affirming surgery yields good results for satisfaction with appearance and function. Genital sensitivity showed the best results with pressure and vibration.

Le Breton, M., Courtois, F., Morel Journel, N., Beaulieu-Prévost, D., Bélanger, M., Ruffion, A. and Terrier, J-E. (2017). Genital Sensory Detection Thresholds and Patient Satisfaction With Vaginoplasty in Male-to-Female Transgender Women. The Journal of Sexual Medicine, 14(2). DOI:

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sexology magazine, sex, sexuality, sexology, french, genital sensibility, transgender, woman


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