Human Clitoris - Anatomy and Conditions Affecting Clitoris
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Human Clitoris

Dr.Surya Rao Poodipeddi profile Authored by Dr.Surya Rao Poodipeddi on 19 Dec 2014 - 09:55.

Clitoris is present only in females which extends from its visible portion to a point below the pubic bone. The clitoris is a sexual organ in the body of a female and the visible knob-like portion is what we can see and feel near the front junction of the two thin folds inside the vulva, the labia minora above the vaginal orifice.

Human vulva is the main external reproductive organ, which travels from the pubic area at the top downward till the lower end, separated by the perineum from the anus.

Anatomy: Two thick muscular folds of fat called Labia majora converge at the top as well as at the lower end guarding the inner parts of the vulva. Within, lie two thin folds called the labia minora, which converge above, over a small area of soft tissue called hood of the clitoris. They also cover the urethral opening and the vaginal opening. To sum up, the clitoris is a cylindrical erectable body rarely exceeding 2 cm in length situated at the most anterior (front) portion of the vulva and between the branched portions of the two thin folds called labia minora. This branching of the labia minora form the prepuce and frenulum of the clitoris which consists of a glans, a corpus and two crura which are almost analogous to the male counterpart the penis with a lone exception that it is not pierced by the urethra like in a penis. The clitoris has a little hood of pink skin over it and is referred to as the most sensitive nub of flesh.

In some women the clitoris is small, in others it is large and yet in some others it is very large. The whole clitoris is highly erectile and wells up when she is aroused. The clitoris in a female is analogous with the penis in a male, the head of the clitoris like the head of the penis called the glans, has rich nerve supply with many nerve endings that play their role in sexual arousal. Developmentally the same bud of tissue in the embryo becomes either the glans clitoris or the glans penis depending on the sex of the offspring.

Clitoris is the only organ in a female body, which is entirely devoted solely to sexual pleasure. Scientists with their extensive study in a female opine that the clitoris has multiple parts including two legs or crura and two bulbs called the bulbs of the vestibule, which extend about 9 cm into the pelvis and hence not visible externally.

An Australian researcher points out that the clitoris could be longer than what anatomists thought earlier and that it can be longer than the penis when considered in its entirety though it is hidden within the pelvis.

Conditions affecting clitoris:

Three main conditions can affect a clitoris in a female namely Congenital adrenal hyperplasia, Lichen Sclerosis and Masculanization.

Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia: Present from birth this congenital condition occurs when there is excess secretion of a hormone by the adrenal glands resulting in salt depletion and enlarged clitoris besides othe problems. Because of excess hormones, mainly the androgens, the clitoris assumes a larger size and gets fused with the external genatalia giving the appearance of a masculine figure. Surgical treatment may help.

Lichen Sclerosis: It is a skin condition, which can affect any organ in the human body including the vulva and clitoris at its top and may present itself as thinning, thickening or irritation of the organ affected. Steroid ointments are generally prescribed for external application on the areas affected.

Masculanization: In this condition the clitoris assumes almost the size of a penis and hence called masculanization. Those females who have this unfortunate phenomenon are called she-males who have a penis like organ over the top of the semi fused or fully fused vulval lips and they too can enjoy a sex act through the opening with in the folds of the vulva. Those who have this condition may consult a plastic surgeon for a possible reconstructive surgery.

*Disclaimer: This is not medical advice. The content is for educational purposes only. Please contact your doctor for any health care issues.