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MAMTA Health Institute for Mother & Child | New Delhi

Female sexual and reproductive organs

External sexual and reproductive organs

The external female sex organs are collectively known as vulva. The external genitalia consist of the monsveneris (mons pubis/ pubic mound), the labia majora (major or outer labia) and, the labia minora (small inner labia), the clitoris and the vestibule (the cleft region enclosed by labia minora). There are two openings: urethral opening for passage of urine, and vaginal opening with vaginal corona (hymen) in vestibule.

The pubic mound, the protruding soft area above the pubic bone consists largely of fatty tissues that becomes more prominent at puberty, and covers the joint of the pubic bones. At puberty, the mons becomes covered with pubic hair, which is often thick and curly; but varies from person to person in its texture, colour and waviness. Hair is seldom confined to the pubic mound and may also grow up towards the stomach, back towards the anus, between the buttocks, down the tops of the thighs and on the outer labia. This hair usually becomes thinner after the menopause. The mons cushions the female’s body during sexual intercourse, protecting her and her partner from the pressure against the pubic bone that stems from thrusting motion.

The outer labia are large folds of skin that run downward from the mons along the sides of the vulva. The outer surfaces are covered with pubic hair, and when close together they conceal inner labia and the urethral and vaginal openings. These are practically nonexistent in childhood and enlarge greatly, as do the inner labia and the clitoris.

The inner labia are two hairless, light-coloured membranes located between the major lips and surround the urethral and vaginal openings. The outer surfaces merge with the major lips, while at the top they join at the prepuce (hood) of the clitoris. These are rich in blood vessels and are highly sensitive to sexual stimulation.

The clitoris is a small, highly sensitive extension located above the urethral opening where the labia meet. It is the primary centre of sexual sensation for the woman and has no purpose besides sexual pleasure. In some respects, the clitoris is the female counterpart of the penis, as both organs receive and transmit sexual sensations. It is the most erotically charged organ in a woman.

Vestibule refers to the area enclosed by the labia minora that contains the vaginal and urethral openings. It is richly supplied with nerve endings and is sensitive to tactile or other sexual stimulation.

Read More

The Vaginal corona/ hymen
What is virginity?
Internal sexual and reproductive organs
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