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Ernst Gräfenberg

Ernst Gräfenberg (26 September 1881 in Adelebsen near Göttingen - 28 October 1957 in New York) was a German-born medical doctor and scientist.

Gräfenberg studied medicine in Göttingen and Munich, obtaining his doctorate on 10 March 1905. He began working as a doctor of ophthalmology at the university of Würzburg, but then moved to the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at the University of Kiel, where he published papers on cancer metastasis (the "Gräfenberg theory"), and the physiology of egg implantation.

In 1910 Gräfenberg started work as a gynaecologist in Berlin, as well as beginning scientific studies at the Berlin University on the physiology of human reproduction. During the First World War, he served as a medical officer, and continued publishing papers, most of them on female physiology.

In 1928 he began lecturing about the Gräfenberg ring , an early IUD he had invented.

As a result of the rise of Nazism in Germany, Gräfenberg, as a Jewish physician, was forced in 1933 to give up his post as head of the department of Gynaecology and Obstetrics in Berlin-Britz. Believing himself to be safe, he stayed in Germany. In 1937, however, he was arrested for allegedly smuggling a valuable stamp out of Germany. With the intervention of friends at the International Society of Sexology , he was able to escape Germany in 1940 and emigrate to California. He died on 28 October 1957 in New York.

He gained fame for studies of the female genitals, and female sexual physiology in general. His published papers include the seminal The Role of Urethra in Female Orgasm in 1950, in which he describes female ejaculation, and an erotic zone where the urethra is closest to the vaginal wall. In 1981 John Perry and Beverly Whipple named this area the Gräfenberg spot, or G-spot after him.

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