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To the Editors:

To the Editors: <h5>.</h5> <h5>To the Editors:</h5> Fetal movement offers the opportunity for observing fetal behavior in utero. Parents, curious to know their child's sex, frequently request visualization of the fetal genitalia. During second-trimester ultrasonographic examinations it is usual to see fetuses explore their body and their environment. They handle their own feet, head, genitalia, umbilical cord, and so on. We recently observed a female fetus at 32 weeks' gestation touching the vulva with the fingers of the right hand. The caressing movements were centered primarily on the region of the clitoris. Movements stopped after 30 to 40 seconds and started again after a few minutes. Furthermore, these slight touches were repeated and were associated with short, rapid movements of pelvis and legs. After another break, in addition to this behavior, the fetus contracted the muscles of the trunk and limbs, and then clonicotonic movements of the whole body followed. Finally, she relaxed and rested. We observed this behavior for about 20 minutes. The mother was an active and interested witness, conversing with observers about her child's experience. Evidence of male fetuses' excitement reflex in utero, such as erection or ″masturbation” movements, 1 has been previously reported. The current observation seems to show not only that the excitement reflex can be evoked in female fetuses at the third trimester of gestation but also that the orgasmic reflex can be elicited during intrauterine life. This would agree with the physiologic features of female sexuality: The female sexual response is separate from reproductive functions and doesn't need a full sexual maturity to be explicit. 2, 3 6/8/72212 </P> http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology Wolters Kluwer Health

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Publisher
Wolters Kluwer Health
Copyright
Copyright © 1996 Elsevier Ltd
ISSN
0002-9378
DOI
10.1053/ob.1996.v175.aob17503a10
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

<h5>.</h5> <h5>To the Editors:</h5> Fetal movement offers the opportunity for observing fetal behavior in utero. Parents, curious to know their child's sex, frequently request visualization of the fetal genitalia. During second-trimester ultrasonographic examinations it is usual to see fetuses explore their body and their environment. They handle their own feet, head, genitalia, umbilical cord, and so on. We recently observed a female fetus at 32 weeks' gestation touching the vulva with the fingers of the right hand. The caressing movements were centered primarily on the region of the clitoris. Movements stopped after 30 to 40 seconds and started again after a few minutes. Furthermore, these slight touches were repeated and were associated with short, rapid movements of pelvis and legs. After another break, in addition to this behavior, the fetus contracted the muscles of the trunk and limbs, and then clonicotonic movements of the whole body followed. Finally, she relaxed and rested. We observed this behavior for about 20 minutes. The mother was an active and interested witness, conversing with observers about her child's experience. Evidence of male fetuses' excitement reflex in utero, such as erection or ″masturbation” movements, 1 has been previously reported. The current observation seems to show not only that the excitement reflex can be evoked in female fetuses at the third trimester of gestation but also that the orgasmic reflex can be elicited during intrauterine life. This would agree with the physiologic features of female sexuality: The female sexual response is separate from reproductive functions and doesn't need a full sexual maturity to be explicit. 2, 3 6/8/72212 </P>

Journal

American Journal of Obstetrics and GynecologyWolters Kluwer Health

Published: Sep 1, 1996

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