Clitoris is the female sexual organ that corresponds to the penis in males. It is situated at the apex of the vestibule anteriorly. The structure of the clitoris is similar to that of penis. The glans of clitoris is partly hidden by the prepuce.
Root of clitoris:
Like the penis, the root of clitoris is made up of three masses of erectile tissue: the bulb of the vestibule and the right and left crura.
The bulb of vestibule corresponds to the bulb of penis, but the structure of the two is different. Because of the presence of vagina in females, the bulb of vestibule is divided into two halves. It is attached to the undersurface of urogenital diaphragm and is covered by the bulbospongiosus muscle.
The right and left crura of the clitoris correspond to the crura of the penis. They become corpora cavernosa anteriorly. Each remains separated and is covered by ischiocavernosus muscle.
Body of clitoris:
Like the body of penis, the body of clitoris consists of two corpora cavernosa covered by their ischiocavernosus muscles. The corpus spongiosum of the male is represented by a small amount of erectile tissue leading from the vestibular bulbs to the glans.
Glans of clitoris:
The glans of clitoris is a small mass of erectile tissue that caps the body of the clitoris. It is provided with numerous sensory ending. The glans is partly hidden by the prepuce.
Arterial supply to clitoris is provided by branches of internal pudendal artery. These branches include:
- Deep arteries of clitoris: They supply the corpus cavernosum.
- Artery of the bulb: It supplies the bulb of vestibule.
- Dorsal artery of clitoris: It runs on the dorsum of the clitoris to the glans where it divides into branches, which supply the glans and prepuce.
Veins of clitoris, most conspicuous of which are the dorsal veins, drain into the internal pudendal veins.
Lymph from the skin of clitoris is drained into the medial group of superficial inguinal lymph nodes.
Lymph from deep structures of clitoris is drained into the internal iliac lymph nodes.
Nerve fibers to clitoris are provided by the inferior hypogastric plexus and the pudendal nerve.