Citation, DOI & article data
The clitoris (plural: clitorides), the female homologue of the penis, and part of the female reproductive system, is situated at the anterior aspect of the labia minora. The clitoris, like the penis, is formed of a body and glans, formed respectively from the crura of the clitoris and the bulbs of the vestibule.
The crura of the clitoris are homologous to the crura of the penis, with one crus lying along each inferior public ramus. The crura unite anteriorly to form the corpora cavernosa, separated by a thin fibrous septum, which form the body of the clitoris 5. The body is enclosed by a single layer of tunica albuginea. The clitoral neurovascular bundles run along the posterior aspects of the body and glans. Further thin layers of connective soft tissues encase the clitoral body and its neurovascular structures 6.
The body is surmounted by the glans, which is formed from the anterior conjunction of the bulbs of the vestibule. The glans lies caudally and is angulated posteriorly.
In older texts, the vestibular bulbs are not technically considered to form part of the clitoris, however newer articles suggest that this maybe an outdated idea.
At their ventral aspect, the labia minora bisect and envelop the clitoris, anteriorly forming the prepuce (a.k.a. the clitoral hood), a homologue to the foreskin of the penis. The prepuce usually covers the highly sensitive glans. Posteriorly, the labia form the frenulum of the clitoris, this is a different structure from the frenulum of the labia minora.
- dorsal artery of the clitoris
- dorsal vein of the clitoris
- 1. William Alexander Newman Dorland. Dorland's Illustrated Medical Dictionary. (2018) ISBN: 9781416023647
- 2. Chummy S. Sinnatamby. Last's Anatomy. (2018) ISBN: 9780702033940
- 3. John Charles Boileau Grant. Grant's Atlas of Anatomy. (1999)
- 4. Richard S. Snell. Clinical anatomy for medical students. (1992)
- 5. O'Connell HE, DeLancey JO. Clitoral anatomy in nulliparous, healthy, premenopausal volunteers using unenhanced magnetic resonance imaging. (2005) The Journal of urology. 173 (6): 2060-3. doi:10.1097/01.ju.0000158446.21396.c0 - Pubmed
- 6. Jackson LA, Hare AM, Carrick KS, Ramirez DMO, Hamner JJ, Corton MM. Anatomy, histology, and nerve density of clitoris and associated structures: clinical applications to vulvar surgery. (2019) American journal of obstetrics and gynecology. 221 (5): 519.e1-519.e9. doi:10.1016/j.ajog.2019.06.048 - Pubmed
- 7. O'Connell HE, Sanjeevan KV, Hutson JM. Anatomy of the clitoris. (2005) The Journal of urology. 174 (4 Pt 1): 1189-95. doi:10.1097/01.ju.0000173639.38898.cd - Pubmed