What is clitoris? The clitoris is one of the sex organs present in human females. Sex organs are mainly for reproductive purposes. Clitoris is the sex organ that aims at giving pleasure; hence called the pleasure center in the female reproductive anatomy. The clitoris is also seen as the small piece of flesh above the genitals or vulva.

Where is the clitoris located?

The clitoris is located under the meeting point of the inner labia (fleshy lips or folds of skin) and is present as a little hood. Therefore, it is known as the clitoral hood. The clitoris can be located above two openings, the urethra (opening for passage of urine) and the vagina.

What is the clitoris made of?

The clitoris is made of the following tissues, muscles, and endothelium:

  • 1. Two erectile chambers present in a pair 
  • 2. Endothelium lining lacunar spaced chambers
  • 3. Trabecular smooth muscle 
  • 4. Trabecular connective tissue (collagen and elastin) 
  • 5. Fibrous sheath – the tunica albuginea.

What does the clitoris look like?

The clitoris looks like a thumb or pea with variable sizes. The clitoris that can be seen externally is the only tip present outside the female, and a more significant part of it is present internally. When a female is aroused sexually, the clitoris becomes enlarged, swollen, and stiff (resembling the penis in males). In certain conditions, the swelling can be abnormal, giving a different appearance to the clitoris.

What are the standard conditions and disorders that may affect your clitoris?

Common conditions or disorders that affect the clitoris: 

  • 1. Chemical agents in soaps or detergents may irritate the vulvar region and the clitoris. These chemicals cause rashes, pain, and inflammation of the clitoris. 
  • 2. Infections, including STIs, UTIs, and other microbial infections, may affect the clitoris.
  • 3. Some of the STIs (Sexually transmitted infections) that are associated with the clitoris are Herpes infection, Chlamydiasis, Gonorrhea, Syphilis, and Bacterial vaginosis (BV)
  • 4. Sexual abuse – Injury to the genitals of a female due to sexual abuse may cause damage to the clitoris and the surrounding vulva. Sexual abuse lead to psychological effects and trauma in the vulva region because of forced sexual activity. 
  • 5. All those factors and conditions that impact the brain and nervous system result in a nervous breakdown in the clitoris and associated vulvar region.

Other conditions include

  • 1. Multiple sclerosis
  • 2. Diabetes
  • 3. Kidney failure
  • 4. Rheumatoid arthritis
  • 5. Previous surgery (clitoral or vulvar surgery) 
  • 6. Vaginal childbirth (cause tearing) 
  • 7. Vulvodynia (vaginal itching)
  • 8. Vaginal cancer

What symptoms that are observed in an affected clitoris?

Symptoms observed in diseased clitoris: 

  • 1. Abnormally enlarged clitoris
  • 2. Burning sensation in the clitoris
  • 3. Pain in the region
  • 4. Inflamed skin or tissues of the clitoris
  • 5. Clitoral adhesions (skin getting attached to glans clitoris at one or more points)
  • 6. Lichen sclerosus (thinner-looking skin with white patches)
  • 7. Scarring
  • 8. Bleeding
  • 9. Tearing
  • 10. Blistering

Simple tips to keep clitoris healthy

A healthy clitoris is crucial for beneficial sexual experiences. Some of the measures that can be taken to keep the clitoris healthy are:

  • 1. Adopt safer sex practices: vaginal or clitoral health can be easily maintained by adopting some safe sex practices like: Use protection like condoms, gloves, and dental dams. Make a practice of having sex with security to prevent any infections.
  • 2. Get regular testing for various genital infections, including UTIs (Urinary Tract Infections) or STIs (sexually transmitted infections). It becomes crucial to get tested in case a person has more than one sexual partner and also whenever the sexual partners exchange fluids from their genitals.
  • 3. It is also essential to know the order of sexual acts. For example, anal sex is recommended after vaginal sex to prevent UTIs. 
  • 4. Safer sex toys must be used. Toys that are made of hypoallergenic and non-porous materials are safe like:
    • A. Wood
    • B. Silicone (medical grade)
    • C. Stainless steel
    • D. Glass (borosilicate )
    • E. Ceramic
    • F. Stone
  • 5. Be mindful of condom ingredients.
  • 6. Condoms have spermicides that are meant to kill sperms that enter the vagina. Instead, the chemicals harm women’s vaginal health by killing good bacteria along with the sperms.
  • 7. Make a habit of urinating after sex. Urinating will help in reducing the likelihood of infections in the bladder or urethra. 
  • 8. Choose the breathable fabric for clothing. Breathable and soft fabrics help in keeping genitals happy and healthy. Undergarments purely made of cotton are excellent as it has moisture-adsorbing properties. It will eventually help limit wetness to prevent microbial growth. Changing undergarments daily is the key to maintaining hygiene and limiting the issues of persisting moisture and a foul odor due to genital discharge. 
  • 9. Using water to wash off the genital every time. Avoid using harsh chemicals or scented wipes to disrupt the typical environment of the genitals. The use of mild soaps and detergents for external genitalia is helpful. If anyone has sensitive skin, it is highly recommended to use prescribed soaps or shampoos for taking showers.
  • 10. Prefer natural lubricants. Use moisturizers or lubricants; olive oil and coconut oil must be preferred. Chemicals in other moisturizers might affect sensitive skin. In addition, synthetic ingredients in moisturizers may cause multiple allergies. It is recommended that individuals use silicone lubricants (water-based) instead of latex condoms.

Clitoris treatment

Some of the treatment options can be: 

  • 1. Antibiotics – For treating bacterial infections or skin rashes. 
  • 2. Antifungals – For treating yeast infections and resulting inflammation and rashes.
  • 3. Physical therapy – To strengthen pelvic floor muscles.
  • 4. Sex therapy  
  • 5. Counseling
  • 6. Pain relievers (ibuprofen)

Frequently Asked Questions

How big is the clitoris?

The clitoris measures to be approximately 3 -5 inches long and about two and a half inches wide.

What is an internal clitoris?

The clitoris is the organ with some parts inside that body, and some features are externally present that can be seen. The portion of the clitoris present internally accounts for larger size containing tissues with erectile function.

Is Clitorial pain normal?

Pain in any body part is not considered normal when it disrupts normal body functioning. This is the case with the clitoris, a part of the female genitalia, and if it is painful, it is a matter of concern. The pain, burning sensation, and throbbing must be taken seriously before it gets complicated. Therefore, getting appropriate diagnostic tests for clitorodynia (clitoris pain) is crucial.

Consult Glamyo healthcare for the test and advice from their expert gynecologist, as the pain is mostly treatable if medication is taken correctly on time before any complication or medical condition arises.

Glamyo health has added the advantage of 24-hour free female gynecologist consultation to ensure privacy for female patients.

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