Introduction: Women may expel various kinds of fluids during sexual arousal and at orgasm. Their origins, quantity, compositions, and expulsion mechanisms depend on anatomical and pathophysiological dispositions and the degree of sexual arousal. These are natural sexual responses but may also represent symptoms of urinary incontinence.
Aim: The study aims to clarify the etiology of fluid leakage at orgasm, distinguish between associated physiological sexual responses, and differentiate these phenomena from symptoms of illness.
Methods: A systematic literature review was performed. EMBASE (OvidSP) and Web of Science databases were searched for the articles on various phenomena of fluid expulsions in women during sexual arousal and at orgasm.
Main outcome measures: Articles included focused on female ejaculation and its variations, coital incontinence (CI), and vaginal lubrication.
Results: Female ejaculation orgasm manifests as either a female ejaculation (FE) of a smaller quantity of whitish secretions from the female prostate or a squirting of a larger amount of diluted and changed urine. Both phenomena may occur simultaneously. The prevalence of FE is 10-54%. CI is divided into penetration and orgasmic forms. The prevalence of CI is 0.2-66%. Penetration incontinence occurs more frequently and is usually caused by stress urinary incontinence (SUI). Urodynamic diagnoses of detrusor overactivity (DOA) and SUI are observed in orgasmic incontinence.
Conclusions: Fluid expulsions are not typically a part of female orgasm. FE and squirting are two different physiological components of female sexuality. FE was objectively evidenced only in tens of cases but its reported high prevalence is based mostly on subjective questionnaire research. Pathophysiology of squirting is rarely documented. CI is a pathological sign caused by urethral disorder, DOA, or a combination of both, and requires treatment. An in-depth appreciation of these similar but pathophysiologically distinct phenomena is essential for distinguishing normal, physiological sexual responses from signs of illness.
Keywords: Coital Incontinence; Female Ejaculation; Female Prostate; Orgasmic Incontinence; Squirting; Urinary Incontinence.
© 2013 International Society for Sexual Medicine.