CU Doctors Find Genital Stimulator Remedies Sexual Dysfunction Suffered by Half of Women

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Aiming to end the stigma of using stimulation devices, study confirms method alleviates sexual arousal and sensation problems, and may even correct underlying nerve damage.

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Our hope is to change the negative stigmas associated with stimulation devices. We want to help women feel comfortable seeking help.

A recent study published in Female Pelvic Medicine & Reconstructive Surgery found that use of a genital vibratory stimulation device (GVSD) improves sexual function in women with arousal and orgasmic dysfunctions. The study was led by Dr. Marsha K. Guess, visiting associate professor and Dr. Kathleen Connell, associate professor, in the Division of Urogynecology at the University of Colorado Denver. They hope this study will help some women overcome sexual dysfunction, without the need for medications or procedures, by establishing GVSD therapy as an effective and accessible treatment.

“A large number of women report that vibrators improve their sexual function, but there was minimal research to validate these claims,” said Dr. Guess, who was an assistant professor at Yale University when the research began. “Female sexual dysfunction, the exact cause of which is not known, affects up to 50 percent of women over 18 years old. However, nerve damage and altered sensation caused by giving birth or other physical trauma has been found in women reporting sexual complaints. In the recent study the authors found that both sexual function and sensation in the pelvic area respond well to a specific type of genital stimulation.”

The controlled study looked at 70 women aged 19 to 64 who had common sexual dysfunction symptoms, including difficulty getting aroused, vaginal dryness and problems having an orgasm. Participants were asked to use the GVSD at least once a week for a three-month period.

The research showed that short-term GVSD use improved sexual function and decreased sexual-related distress one month after initiation. For some women, continued enhancement was still noted after discontinuing use, suggesting long-term benefits may result from initiating therapy.

“Our hope is to change the negative stigmas associated with stimulation devices. We want to help women feel comfortable seeking help,” said Dr. Guess. “Sexual arousal and orgasmic disorders are medical conditions. This study shows that effective, low-cost treatment is available. It can be a first-line therapy for women who don’t want to talk about sexual dysfunction with a doctor.”

The doctors noted that the specific GVSD used in the study, the Eroscillator, has a unique motor that regulates how the device moves along the pelvic surfaces and stimulates the genital nerves. Additional research would be needed to determine if similar benefits result when using different stimulatory devices.

About University of Colorado Urogynecology
University of Colorado Urogynecology is the largest urogynecology and reconstructive pelvic surgery practice in Colorado. CU Urogynecology is dedicated to providing women of all ages with comprehensive treatment for pelvic organ prolapse and urinary incontinence, in order to save and restore their quality of life. Learn more at Urogyn.ColoradoWomensHealth.com.

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Jessica McLaughlin
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