For more than a century, various doctors have put forward the idea women are capable of having two different types of orgasm – clitoral and vaginal.
In particular, the differences between what the two types are, as well as the reasons why, have been heavily debated.
In a bid to get a definitive answer, French gynaecologists used sonography machines to measure tiny changes in blood flow during external and internal stimulation.
The research revealed external clitoral stimulation does not involve the internal root of the clitoris, but, vaginal stimulation does involve both the root and the external clitoris – suggesting the two-orgasm theory may be true.
Gynaecologists tested the two-orgasm theory using sonography machines. They found external stimulation was not involved with the root of the clitoris, but, vaginal stimulation involved both the root and external clitoris. This suggests different types of stimulation create different sensations, stock image pictured.
During the tests, researchers Odile Buisson and Emmanuele A Jannini connected three women to sonography machines.
These machines were used to visualise the movements of the clitorourethrovaginal (CUV) complex – the system of clitoral nerves – during both external, direct stimulation of the clitoris, and vaginal stimulation.
These measurements were taken use flat and vaginal probes during manual self-stimulation of the external clitoris, and during vaginal penetration with a wet tampon.
As the women stimulated themselves, the researchers used the probes to measure tiny changes in the flow of blood in the area using pulses known as the Doppler signal.
This revealed external clitoral stimulation did not involve the internal root of the clitoris, but, vaginal stimulation involved both the root and the external clitoris.
This affected the flow of blood and therefore was linked to the difference in sensation.
Buisson and Jannini said: ‘The scans obtained during external stimulation and vaginal penetration demonstrated the root of the clitoris is not involved with external clitoral stimulation.
In contrast, during vaginal stimulation – because of the movements and displacements – the whole CUV complex and the clitoral roots in particular were involved.
This shows ‘functional differences depending on the type of stimulation,’ explained the researchers.
While ‘the [Doppler] signal indicating flow speed in the veins mirrored these anatomical changes.’
The researchers concluded that based on these findings, the different reported perceptions from these two types stimulation can be explained by the different parts of the clitoris.