Original research| Volume 99, ISSUE 2, P299-305, February 2018

Randomized Trial of Clitoral Vacuum Suction Versus Vibratory Stimulation in Neurogenic Female Orgasmic Dysfunction

Published:September 09, 2017DOI:


      • Effective, safe therapies are shown to promote orgasm in women with spinal cord injury (SCI) or multiple sclerosis (MS).
      • Clitoral vacuum suction improved overall sexual function with sustained efficacy.
      • Vibratory stimulation improved orgasmic function during active treatment.
      • Clinicians should make these treatments available to women with MS or SCI.
      • Research should examine benefits of orgasm on spasticity and quality of life.



      To examine the safety and efficacy of using a clitoral vacuum suction device (CVSD) versus vibratory stimulation (V) to treat orgasmic dysfunction in women with multiple sclerosis (MS) or spinal cord injury (SCI).


      Randomized clinical trial.


      Two academic medical centers.


      Women (N=31) including 20 with MS and 11 with SCI.


      A 12-week trial of the use of a CVSD versus V.

      Main Outcome Measures

      Female Sexual Function Inventory (FSFI) and Female Sexual Distress Scale (FSDS).


      Twenty-three women (18 MS, 5 SCI) completed the study including 13 of 16 randomized to CVSD and 10 of 15 randomized to V. There was a statistically significant increase in total FSFI score (P=.011), desire (P=.009), arousal (P=.009), lubrication (P=.008), orgasm (P=.012), and satisfaction (P=.049), and a significant decrease in distress as measured by FSDS (P=.020) in subjects using the CVSD. In subjects who used V, there was a statistically significant increase in the orgasm subscale of the FSFI (P=.028). Subjects using the CVSD maintained improvements 4 weeks after treatment.


      CVSD is safe and overall efficacious to treat female neurogenic sexual dysfunction related to MS and SCI. V is also safe and efficacious for female neurogenic orgasmic dysfunction; however, results were limited to the active treatment period. Because of ease of access and cost, clinicians can consider use of V for women with MS or SCI with orgasmic dysfunction. CVSD is recommended for women with multiple sexual dysfunctions or for whom V is ineffective.


      List of abbreviations:

      CVSD (clitoral vacuum suction device), FOD (female orgasmic dysfunction), FSDS (Female Sexual Distress Scale), FSFI (Female Sexual Function Inventory), MS (multiple sclerosis), MSISQ-19 (Multiple Sclerosis Intimacy and Sexuality Questionnaire-19), SCI (spinal cord injury), SDS (sexual dysfunction score), V (vibratory stimulation)
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