JOURNAL ARTICLE
REVIEW

Anatomy of the clitoris and the female sexual response

Rachel N Pauls
Clinical Anatomy 2015, 28 (3): 376-84
25727497
The clitoris may be the most pivotal structure for female sexual pleasure. While its significance has been reported for hundreds of years, no complete anatomical description was available until recently. Most of the components of the clitoris are buried under the skin and connective tissues of the vulva. It comprises an external glans and hood, and an internal body, root, crura, and bulbs; its overall size is 9-11 cm. Clitoral somatic innervation is via the dorsal nerve of the clitoris, a branch of the pudendal nerve, while other neuronal networks within the structure are complex. The clitoris is the center for orgasmic response and is embryologically homologous to the male penis. While the source of vaginal eroticism might or might not be exclusively clitoral stimulation, it is necessary to understand the intricate anatomy of the organ to assess the data in this regard. Ultimately, sexual enjoyment entails a balance of physical and emotional factors and should be encouraged.

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