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Magnetic resonance imaging of sexual intercourse is both possible and useful...

(Magnetic resonance imaging of male and female genitals during coitus and female sexual arousal) BMJ Volume 319 18-25 December 1999 pp1596-1600

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Taking magnetic resonance images of the male and female genitals during sexual intercourse is both feasible and has helped contribute to our understanding of living anatomy, write researchers from the Netherlands in this week's Christmas issue of the BMJ.

In an attempt to ascertain whether a couple making love could physically fit into a Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scanner and to find out whether taking images of the male and female genitals was possible, Professor Willibrord Weijmar Schultz and colleagues from University Hospital Groningen in the Netherlands recruited eight couples and three single women (over the age of 18 years and each with a small to average weight/height index).

These participants performed thirteen experiments in the MRI scanner over a period of seven years - the scanner had been adapted slightly such that the diameter of the tube in which couples were situated was widened to 50cm. The research team found the male participants had more problems with sexual performance (specifically, maintaining an erection) than the women in the scanner. All the women had a complete sexual response, but those who reached orgasm described it as "superficial".

Despite these drawbacks for participants, the research team was still able to achieve good magnetic resonance images of coitus in progress. They found that the imaging showed that during female sexual arousal the uterus raises and the anterior (front) vaginal wall lengthens. There was no evidence of an increase in the volume of the uterus during sexual a
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Contact: Jill Shepherd
jshepherd@bmj.com
44-171-383-6529
BMJ-British Medical Journal
16-Dec-1999


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