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Introduction to Clitoris

IVSAT 2024

The female reproductive system is designed in such a way that it helps to carry out several functions. It produces the gametes that are necessary for reproduction. During birth, this system is immature and they develop at the time of puberty. The clitoris is a structure whose size is about the size of a pea that is located at the top of a woman's vulva, above the opening of the urethra. The penis is the male homolog to the clitoris, it usually does not contain the distal portion of the urethra hence it is not used for urination. The clitoris also usually lacks a reproductive function.

The clitoris is the female's most sensitive erogenous zone present in humans. In other mammals including humans, the clitoris is developed from an outgrowth in the embryo called the genital tubercle. The tubercle will either develop into a penis or a clitoris during the development of the reproductive system depending on exposure to androgens. The clitoris size and sensitivity can vary as it is a complex structure. The glans of the human clitoris is roughly the size and shape of a pea and is estimated to have about 8,000 sensory nerve endings.

Clitoris Location

The vulva is a common term used to describe all of the external female genital organs. These organs are found around the vagina that includes the labia minora, the labia majora, the vestibule of the vagina, the clitoris, the bulb of the vestibule, and the glands of Bartholin.

The two types of labia are connected around the vagina to form an oval shape. The smaller part is the labia minora that surrounds the vagina. The labia majora is the larger part after puberty, the outer portion of the labia majora is covered with pubic hair. The point where the labia majora meets is the place where the labia major is formed.

External Parts of the Clitoris

The glans clitoris is considered as the external part of the clitoris. It is situated above the urethra and the size is about the size of a pea. Because the glans are the most extremely sensitive and are the highly innervated area of the clitoris. The clitoral hood is present on the top of the glans or just above it, which is formed by the two sides of the connecting labia minora. The size and the degree of coverage of the clitoral hoods can vary from person to person.

Internal Parts of the Clitoris

The body of the clitoris is connected to the external part of the clitoris called the glans of the clitoris. The body of the clitoris is projected upwards that leads to the pelvis and it is attached to the pubic bone through certain ligaments. The clitoris splits from the body in half to form the paired crura and vestibular bulbs. These bulbs extend through and behind the labia, and they form the way passing by the urethra and vaginal canal towards the anus.

In spider monkeys, the clitoris is specially developed and has an interior passage, or urethra, that makes it almost identical to the penis, and it retains and distributes urine droplets as the female spider monkey moves around. While female spotted hyenas are sometimes known as hermaphrodites. These female spotted hyenas have a large clitoris, which helps to perform several functions such as mating, urination, and to give birth. The large clitoris can also be found in some other mammals, such as lemurs and spider monkeys.


The clitoris is said to be the important organ in females. The size may vary from one female to the other. The clitoris is not only important and present in humans it is also found present in all the mammals where some of the mammals such as spider monkeys and lemurs have a larger clitoris. 

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FAQs on Clitoris

1. Define Clitoris.

Ans: The clitoris can be defined as an important structure found in females which are located on the top of the vulva above the urethral opening present in females, whose size is about the size of a pea.

2. What are the Important Parts that are Present in the Female Reproductive System? What is the Meaning of Clitoris?

Ans: The main parts of the female reproductive system are Ovary, fallopian tubes, cervix, vagina, and uterus.

There is a small pea-sized structure that is found at the opening of the urethra is called the clitoris.

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