Thu, 06 Mar, 11:00 AM
'Orgasm machine' delivers climax with push of a button

Sexual dysfunction is a serious problem for many women, and now US scientists believe they have found a new way to help with it.

Women with severe problems that don't respond to other forms of treatment would have a device the size of a cigarette packet implanted under the skin of their buttocks.

"You'd have a hand-held remote control to trigger it," said Dr Stuart Meloy, a surgeon from North Carolina who invented the product.

"But it's as invasive as a pacemaker, so this is only for extreme cases."

Working similarly to a pacemaker, the device has electrodes that connect to pleasure centres. Women would use an external remote to stimulate an orgasm.

Medical company Medtronic has patented the device and will begin clinical trials later this year.

The surgery requires women to be awake so the device can be positioned in the correct spot.

Dr Meloy made the discovery when he was implanting electrodes into a woman to help her back pain.

"I was placing the electrodes and suddenly the woman started exclaiming emphatically," he said.

"I asked her what was up and she said, 'You're going to have to teach my husband to do that'."

Dr Meloy said the device could help couples.

"If you've got a couple who've been together for a while and it's just not happening any more, maybe they'll get through it a bit easier with this," he says.

The device will be programmed for use.

"But whether it's once a day, four times a week – who am I to say?" he said.

Sexologist Dr Nikki Goldstein told ninemsn she has reservations about the product because orgasms are about more than just physical experience.

"Orgasms are not just about the biological side of things, it's mental too – do we feel desire, do we feel love, does our partner respect us and do we trust them?" she said.

"Focusing on the physical is barking up the wrong tree."

Dr Goldstein said a lot of women just need to be taught the basics.

"A device like that may work for women who have medical issues and problems functioning from the waist down," she said.

"But with most women, give me half an hour with them and I could probably make them have an orgasm just verbally."

Sexologist Amanda Joy Robb told ninemsn that she agrees it's important women address the underlying issues of their sexual dysfunction.

"To treat sexual dysfunction of any kind, we generally need a multi-disciplinary approach, and as innovative as a 'push button device' is to achieve orgasm, it's not a solution for orgasmic disorder in the long term," she said.

"I would recommend attending sex therapy to explore options to alleviate the issue as a foundation to then consider further treatments."

Source: New Scientist Author Kimberly Gillan; Approving editor Rory Kinsella,