UPDATED: Medtronic denies involvement with on-demand orgasm implant

Medtronic signs on to test orgasm device

Medical device industry giant Medtronic (NYSE:MDT) told MassDevice.com today that despite reports of the company’s participation in upcoming studies, Medtronic is not involved with research on an implantable neurostimulator designed for treatment of sexual dysfunction.

Reports have circulated today that Medtronic has signed on to conduct research with physician and inventor Dr. T. Stuart Meloy, who holds a patent on technology that uses traditional nerve stimulation to target nerves in the spine and produce orgasms at the push of a remote-controlled button.

North Carolina surgeon Dr. Stuart Meloy developed the system after unintentionally triggering an intense response in a female patient undergoing surgery to implant a neurostimulator for an unrelated condition, he’s said. The experience encouraged him to explore the potential for an orgasm-spurring system and he has been working on the technology for more nearly 15 years now, having landed a patent in 2001.

Clinical trials are slated to begin later this year, according to New Scientist, which reported that Meloy expects to work with Medtronic. Another report from SeekingAlpha.com stated that “Medtronic has signed on to conduct tests." Numerous other reports have also tied Medtronic to future testing of the technology.

"Medtronic is not involved in any research regarding sexual dysfunction, and we have no device intended for this indication," Medtronic Neuromodulation spokesman Justin Ihle told MassDevice.com today.

When asked directly if the above reports were inaccurate, Ihle responded simply that "Medtronic is not involved in this research."

Meloy could not be reached for comment. Advanced Interventional Pain Management, for which Meloy serves as president, was closed today due to inclement weather. Other attempts to reach Meloy were also unsuccessful.

Meloy has said in patent documents that his is the 1st technology to recognize the potential for implanted nerve stimulation to produce orgasms, although it does happen on accident from time to time. Meloy described a situation in which a patient’s spinal cord stimulator, intended for relief of hip pain, became dislodged over time and caused patient to "experience genital stimulation rather than pain relief."

"The patient vocalized intense genital stimulation without discomfort," patent documents report. Meloy has been chasing that outcome, testing areas of the spine for sexual stimulation and conducting small trials.

Meloy in 2006 published data from a small clinical trial, implanting 11 women with neurostimulators and targeting sexual stimulation. Ten of the 11 women reported improvement in sexual health, describing "greater frequency in sexual activity, increased lubrication, and overall satisfaction," according to the findings. Once the implants were removed all women returned to their previous "anorgasmic" status.

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