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Female Sexual Anatomy



The Vulva

The external sex organs of the female, called the vulva (meaning “covering”), consist of the mons, the labia, the clitoris, and the perineum.


The mons veneris (Latin:mound of venus: Venus was the Roman goddess of love ) is the area over the public bone that consists of cushion of fatty tissue covered by skin and pubic hair. Since this region has numerous nerve endings, touch or pressure here may lead to sexual arousal. Many women find that stimulation of the mons area can be pleasurable as direct clitoral touch.


The Outer Lips (labia majora) are folds of skin covering a large amount of fat tissue and a thin layer of smooth muscle. Pubic hair grows on the sides of outer lips,and sweat glands, oil glands and nerve endings are liberally distributed in them.In the sexually unstimulated state, the outer lips usually are folded together in the midline, providing mechanical protection for the urethral ( urinary ) opening and the vaginal entrance.


The Inner Lips ( labia minora) are like curving petals. They have a core of spongy tissue rich in small blood vessels and without fat cells. The skin covering the inner lips is hairless but has many sensory nerve endings. The inner lips meet just above the clitoris,forming afold of skin called the clitoral hood. The portion of the inner lips is sometimes referred to as the female forskin.


The labia are an important source of sexual sensations for most women since their many nerve endings serve as sensory receptors. When the skin of the labia is infected, sexual intercourse may be painful, and itching or burning may occur.


Women’s external genitals may vary greatly in appearance. There are differences in the size, shape, and color of the labira, in the color, texturew, amount, and distribution of pubic hair,and in the appearance of the clitoris, vaginal opening, and hymen. Sexual anatomyvaries just as much as facial anatomy, differsfrom one person to another.


Bartholinn’s glands lie within the labia minora are connected to small ducts that open in the inner surface to the labia next to the vaginal opening. Although once thought to play a major role in the production of vaginal lubrication, it is now clear that the few drop of secretion usually produced by these glands during sexual arousal are not important contributants to vaginal lubrication, although they may slightly moisten the labia.


The Clitoris,one of themost sensitive areas of afemale’s genital, is located just beneath the point where the top of the inner lips meet. The only directly visible part of the clitoris is the head or clitoris glands, which looks like a small, shiny button.This head can be seen by gently pushing up the skin, or clitoral hood, that covers it. The clitoral hood also hides the clitoral shaft, the spongy tissue that branches internally like an inverted V into two longer parts or crura. The crura lead to the bony pelvis.The clitoris is richly endowed with nerve endings, which make it highly sensitive to touch,pressure, and temperature.It is unique because it is only organ in either sex whose only known function to focus and accumulate sexual; sensations and erotic pleasure.


The clitoris is often regarded as a miniatere penis, but this notion is sexist and incorrect.The clitoris has no reproductive or urinary function and does not usually lengthen like the penis when stimulated, although it does become engorged. The clitoris and the penis, however,are derived embryogically from the same tissues.


The size and appearance of the clitoris vary considerably among women, but there is no evidence that a larger clitoris provides more intense sexual arousal. Contrary to the opinion of some physicians, masturbation rarely causes enlargement of this organ.


Clitoral circumcision – surgical removal of clitoral hood has been said to improve female sexual responsivity by exposing the clitoral glans to more direct stimulation. We believe however that this is rarely useful since it has two major drawbacks:

  1. The clitoral glans is often exquisitely sensitive to direct touch, to the point of pain or irritation ( in this sense the clitoral hood serves a protective function)

  2. During intercourse the thrusting of the penis indirectly stimulates the clitoris by moving the inner lips of vagina, causing the clitoral hood to rub back and forth across the clitoral glans.

A less drastic procedure than circumcision is advocated by several sexologists to improve some women’s sexual responsiveness. A probe is used to loosen adhesions or thickened secretions (smegma) between the clitoral hood  and clitoral glans. In more than thirty years of practice, we have seen very cases that required such an approach and remain skeptical about the use of this procedure on a routine basis.


The perineum is the hairless area of skin between the bottom of the labia and anus ( the opening for evacuation of the bowels). This region is often sensitive to touch, pressure, and temerature and may be a source of sexual arousal.


The opening of the vagina is covered by thin tissue membrane called the hymen. The hymen, which has to known function, typically has performations in it that allow menstrual flow to pass from the body at puberty. The hymen usually streches across some not all of the vaginal opening and may vary in shape , size and thickness.


Historically, it has been important for a woman to have an intact hymen at the time of marriage as proof  of her virginity. In some societies, who does not have an intact hymen is returned to her parents , subjected to public ridicule, physically punished, or even put to death. Inmodern Japan and Italy , plastic surgeonsare kept busy by reconstructing the hymens of many engaged women to create “neoverginity” for those who wish to canceal their sexual histories from their future husbands.


Contrary to the fears of some females, a doctor cannot usually tell if they are virgins by conducting a pelvic examination. The presence or absence of an intact hymen is not an accurate indication of prior sexual behavior . The hymen may be broken or stretched at an early age by exercises or by inserting fingers or objects in the vagina. Some females are born with only a partial hymen or none at all. In addition, intercourse does not always tear the hymen ; instead, it may simply stretch it. Under most circumstances, the first intercourse experience for girl or women is not painful or marked by a great deal of bleeding . The excitement of the is usually enough sothat the pressure on the hymen is barely noticed.        

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