Comparative study of neonatal clitoral length measurement using calliper and spatula


  • AO Adekoya
  • MB Fetuga
  • C Jean-Pierre
  • AO Adekoya
  • ED Ajibola



Calliper, Clitoral length, Newborn, Spatula


Background: When standard instruments are unavailable for clitoral length measurement, improvisation with locally available tools could be of diagnostic value.

Objective: The objective of this study was to determine how the clitoral length measured with a wooden spatula compared to that measured with a caliper.

Methods: This was a comparative cross-sectional study. Three hundred and five term female infants were recruited from multiple health facilities in Sagamu, Ogun State, Nigeria. The clitoral length was measured with a sliding digital caliper and a wooden spatula (tongue depressor). All the measurements were taken within the first 72 hours of life and comparative analysis was carried out.

Results: The mean (± SD) clitoral length using the sliding digital caliper and the spatula were 6.7 ± 1.6 mm and 6.5 ± 1.8 mm respectively. There was no statistically significant difference between the mean values of both measurements (t = 1.369, p = 0.171). Pearson’s correlation showed that both variables were significantly correlated (r = 0.693, p < 0.001) and the spatula length was a moderate predictor of the caliper length (Coefficient of determination [R2] = 0.48 and p < 0.001).

Conclusion: The findings of this study suggest that the determination of clitoral length using a spatula, commonly found in all community settings, is similar to determination of clitoral length using a digital caliper, most often used for clinical research.


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