Contribution of imaging to our understanding of sexual function and dysfunction

Adv Psychosom Med. 2008;29:150-168. doi: 10.1159/000126629.


The physiology of sexual function and dysfunction is complex and involves biologic, psychological, emotional and social factors in both men and women. As a result, multiple investigative tools are needed to achieve a thorough and comprehensive understanding of these processes. Recently, there have been many advances in the field of medical imaging; many of these imaging techniques have been applied to the study of sexual function and have allowed us to obtain an additional perspective of sexual processes in the research setting. The purpose of this chapter is to review and discuss these techniques with an emphasis on how they contribute to our understanding of sexual function and dysfunction.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Diagnostic Imaging / methods*
  • Evidence-Based Medicine
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Image Interpretation, Computer-Assisted / methods
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods
  • Male
  • Sexual Behavior / physiology*
  • Sexual Dysfunction, Physiological / diagnosis*
  • Sexual Dysfunctions, Psychological / diagnosis*
  • Thermography / methods
  • Tomography, Emission-Computed / methods
  • Ultrasonography, Doppler / methods