Anatomy of the clitoris and the female sexual response

Clin Anat. 2015 Apr;28(3):376-84. doi: 10.1002/ca.22524. Epub 2015 Mar 2.


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.

Keywords: G-spot; anatomy; arousal; clitoris; female sexual pleasure; orgasm.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Arousal / physiology*
  • Clitoris / anatomy & histology*
  • Clitoris / physiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Orgasm / physiology*
  • Vagina / anatomy & histology
  • Vagina / physiology
  • Vulva / anatomy & histology
  • Vulva / physiology