Clitoris – Anatomy and Function
A small projection of erectile tissue, clitoris contains thousands of nerve endings that make it a vital part of the female reproductive system. Located in the vulva, clitoris is the most sensitive erogenous zone that produces sensual feelings and sensations for sexual pleasure. Cylindrical in shape, clitoris is divided into glans, crura, and body.
A short ligament suspends the clitoris body from the pubic bone, which then forms an external glans at the top of the vulva. Lying over the hood of clitoris is a sheath of skin that covers it anteriorly, with the labina majora and minora surrounding it in all directions. Also referred to as large lips, the relatively large labia majora have sweat and oil-secreting glands. The labia majora are covered with pubic hair after a girl achieves puberty.
Also referred to as small lips, the relatively small in size labia minora lie inside the labia majora, meeting at the clitoris and surrounding the opening to the vagina and urethra.
A small, sensitive protrusion, clitoris is comparable to the male penis, with a protective fold of skin similar to the penile foreskin. Clitoris is sensitive to stimulation like the penis.
There is a generous supply of sensitive nerve endings in the glans that are primarily responsible for sexual stimulation in females.
The shaft extends internally from the glans, which is the pointed tip of clitoris. Extending outward from the body are the erectile corpora cavernosa and bulbs. Made of non-erectile tissue, known as the crura, the two structures cover the clitoris. The crura, the body, bulbs, and corpora cavernosa are shaped like a wishbone. Forming the arms of the wishbone, the latter three tissues embrace the vagina and urethra. When a female is sexually stimulated, bulbs along with corpora cavernosa become engorged with blood, resulting in an erection.
A part of the external female reproductive system, clitoris grows in size and hardens when blood fills in the erectile tissue chambers, when any of its thousands of sensitive nerve endings and touch points are stimulated. The primary function of the external reproductive system is to facilitate sperm entry into the female body.