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The Gräfenberg Spot, or G-Spot, is a term used to describe the area of the vagina that might contain an erogenous zone which when stimulated can lead to high levels of sexual arousal and powerful orgasms. Although research on the G-spot has taken place since 1981, arguments over its existence, the actual definition of the term, and its location continue to control discussions in the medical field as well as in studies of sexuality.
Woman's internal reproductive anatomy


Origin and popularity of the term

The term "G-Spot" was coined by Addiego et al. in 1981, after the Germanmarker gynecologist Ernst Gräfenberg who hypothesized its existence in a paper published in 1950. The concept entered popular culture after the publication of The G Spot and Other Recent Discoveries About Human Sexuality by Ladas et al. in 1982, but it was criticized almost immediately by gynecologists.

An anonymous questionnaire was distributed to 2350 professional women in the United States and Canada with a subsequent 55% return rate. Of these respondents, 40% reported having a fluid release (ejaculation) at the moment of orgasm. Further, 82% of the women who reported the sensitive area (Grafenberg spot) also reported ejaculation with their orgasms. A number of variables were associated with this perceived existence of female ejaculation.

Some gynecologists and doctors continue to be skeptical of the existence of the G-Spot rub zone.

Supposed location

The G-Spot is usually said to be located about one to three inches inside the vagina, on the anterior wall. Some women report that stimulation of parts of the posterior wall of the vagina and the anterior wall of the anus at about the same depth creates a similar intense sensation and stimulation.

Search for a sensitive area

Methodology

Two primary methods have been used to define and locate the G-spot as a sensitive area in the vagina:
  • the first is based on self-reported levels of arousal during stimulation;
  • the second is based on the idea that stimulation of the G-Spot leads to female ejaculation.


In a published case study of one woman, it was reported that stimulation of the anterior vaginal wall made the area grow by fifty percent and that self-reported levels of arousal/orgasm were “deeper” when the G-Spot was stimulated. Another study examined eleven women by palpating the entire vagina in a clockwise fashion, and reported a specific response to stimulation of the anterior vaginal wall in four of the women.

Criticism

G-Spot proponents are criticized for giving too much credence to anecdotal evidence, and for questionable investigative methods: for instance, the studies which have yielded positive evidence for a precisely located G-Spot involve small participant samples.

Scientific examinations of vaginal wall innervation have generally shown that there is no single area with a greater density of nerve endings. A recent study of 110 biopsy specimens drawn from 21 women concluded with the absence of a vaginal locus with greater nerve density. However, while neither the area of the anterior vaginal wall where the G-Spot is said to be located nor the Skene's gland appear to possess them, the urethral sponge, which is thought by some to be homologous to the G-Spot, does contain sensitive nerve endings as well as erectile tissue. It should also be noted that sensitivity is not determined by neuron density alone: other factors include the branching patterns of neuron terminals and cross or collateral innervation of neurons.

Skene's gland and other approaches

Links between G-Spot sensitivity and female ejaculation have led to the idea that non-urine female ejaculate might originate from the female paraurethral glands, or Skene's gland: in a study by Tepper et al., tissue from 18 patients was examined and 15 showed prostate-specific antigens. More recent studies have backed up this finding, leading some to call the Skene's glands the female prostate. Consequently, it has been argued that the G-spot is a system of glands and ducts located within the anterior (front) wall of the vagina, about one centimeter from the surface and one third to one-half the way in from the vaginal opening. A similar approach has linked the G-Spot with the urethral sponge.

Many researchers have found the connection between the Skene's gland and the G-Spot to be weak. The Skene's gland does not seem to have receptors for touch stimulation and no direct evidence for its involvement has been forthcoming.

Researchers at the University of L'Aquila have found, using ultrasonography, that women who experience vaginal orgasm are statistically more likely to have thicker tissue in the anterior vaginal wall. In addition, PDE5 activity has been linked to the area of the G-Spot and the presence of Skene's glands: in women without Skene's glands, concentrations of PDE5 are much lower. Researchers state that these findings make it possible for women to have a rapid test to confirm whether or not they have a G-Spot.

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