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Female Sexual Anatomy

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The sex organs of a woman are almost wholly enclosed within her body. As shown in the accompanying charts, they consist chiefly of the vulva, the vagina, the uterus, and the ovaries.

Her breasts are also a part of a woman's sexual orgasm and in some women they respond readily to touch stimulation. Like her lips, they may be sensitive to kissing and fondling to a greater or less degree.

A few women respond intensely to such touch, even to the point of orgasm, some do not respond at all, but the great majority are somewhere in between.

The sensitivity of the breasts in most cases has little to do with a woman's sexual response, since many women with little or no breast sensitivity find it easy to reach orgasm.

More about female anatomy

The vulva is the collective name for all the external sexual parts lying in the groove of the thighs from the pubic mound to the anal opening. These include the large hair-covered folds (outer labia) , the small mucous-lined inner folds (inner labia) , the clitoris with a covering fold of skin called the clitoral foreskin or prepuce, the urethral opening, and the vaginal opening is located.

picture showing external female genitalia and the urethral meatus opening 1 clitoral hood
2 clitoral glans
3 inner labia (labia minora)
4 urethral opening
5 vaginal opening
6 perineum
7 anus

The outer labia start below the pubic mound and run back between the thighs, tapering off just before the anal opening. They are covered with pubic hair, unless a woman has chosen to remove it, and the skin texture is similar to that of the thighs adjoining them. They have a generous supply of sexual nerves and, under favorable conditions, respond to stroking or to touch stimulation.

Beneath the upper end of the groove formed by these folds is a small, highly sensitive spot which varies considerably in size - the clitoris.

The clitoris varies considerably in size as you can see here:

average size clitorislarge clitoris

The clitoris is covered by a thin fold of skin known as the prepuce. It serves as the chief source of sexual nerve endings in the woman and is very responsive to touch or stroking. During sexual excitement it usually increases greatly in size and sensitivity.

The two inner labia extend downward from the clitoris inside the outer folds and extend backward past the vaginal opening.

In some women these folds are quite small, and in others so large that they may even extend well outside the groove formed by the outer folds. They too are sexually sensitive and fill with blood and enlarge when a woman is sexually aroused.

Variation in labia size (click to enlarge)

photograph showing variation in labia size from small to large

Near the base of these small inner folds are the openings of two small glands which may secrete a clear, thin, fluid in copious amounts during profound sexual excitement.

Variation in a woman's arousal - as measured by vaginal lubrication - can be due to many things, such as the time in the menstrual cycle, the degree of stimulation, age and other more individual factors. In some women this outpouring of lubrication is an important sign of sexual readiness, but because of the circumstances just mentioned it may not always be relied upon.

The bladder opening is located just below the clitoris and above the vaginal opening. A tube called the urethra connects the bladder with this opening, through which the urine is discharged. The flow of urine is controlled by a nerve mechanism which contracts or releases a muscle just below the base of the bladder.

You can see the location of the urethral opening in the annotated picture above.

The entrance to the vaginal canal is located below the bladder opening between the two inner folds, well forward of the anus, the opening to the rectum.

In women who have not been penetrated during sexual intercourse, with a finger during sex play, or by the use of internal tampons, the opening to the vaginal canal may be partially covered by a thin fold of tissue, called the hymen. Sometimes this opening is as small as a little finger; in other cases the hymen is practically nonexistent, or so thin and so slight that it offers no serious resistance when intercourse is first attempted. 

The vaginal canal is a tube four or five inches in length connecting the womb or uterus with the outside opening. Its walls are composed of soft, pleated folds, which make it so easily expanded that it can readily pass the head of a baby during the birth process.

If there is adequate lubrication penetration of the vaginal canal can be very pleasurable. Normally the walls of the vagina lie folded close together. When lubricated they do not chafe or rub. When a woman's sexually  aroused, they are sensitive to touch. The nerves of sexual feeling are said to be in the first part of the vagina, but many women experience stimulation from the deeper parts of the vagina too.

The uterus or womb is a pear-shaped organ with muscular walls and is a little smaller in size than a woman's fist. It hangs suspended near the center of the pelvis by means of ligaments which permit it to be moved forward, backward, sidewise, or upward.

The smaller and lower end extends into the vaginal canal for a half-inch or more. It is in this upper end of the vaginal canal where the ejaculation of the sperms or male cells occurs during intercourse.

The sperm travel from the vaginal canal up through the opening in the cervix, into the uterus, and on out into the Fallopian tubes. There, if an egg cell is present, fertilization may take place.

cervix and other female sexual anatomy

This photo is from a fantastic site - beautiful cervix - a must read for every women - and every man!

Because the uterus is so movable in the pelvis, it is not always found in the same position in all women or even at all times in the same woman.

It usually tips forward at a more or less right-angle position from the vaginal canal, but it may be shifted backward by the filling of the bladder or forward by the filling of the rectum.

During pregnancy the uterus is capable of very rapid growth, when it pushes up into the lower abdomen and becomes about a foot in length and eight inches in diameter. After childbirth it rapidly shrinks in size and within a few weeks resumes its normal shape and position.

organs of the female reproductive system

The ovaries are located to the left and right of the uterus, deep in the pelvis. These glands, like the uterus, tend to increase and decrease in size with the variations of the menstrual cycle.

Each month one of them produces an egg which develops in a sac of fluid. When the egg bursts through the thin walls the ovary quickly heals over behind it.

About two weeks before an egg cell ripens, the glands of the body start providing the walls of the uterus with a rich supply of nutriments.

During this period the inner linings of the, cavity of the womb, becomes thick and spongy in readiness to receive the fertilized egg cell. If the egg is not fertilized, the thickened walls of the uterus start to break down after about two weeks' time, and the thickened lining is discharged in the menstrual flow.

For several days a colored liquid composed of blood and dissolved cells passes out through the mouth of the womb, down the vaginal canal, and out through the external opening of the vagina. At the end of four or five days the bleeding stops, the surface of the womb lining heals over, and the process commences all over again.

The pattern of menstruation is a very individual matter. Some girls start at ten, others at thirteen or fourteen, and some even later.

 In some women the flow lasts for three days, in others, for five or six. In some women the cycle covers from twenty-seven to thirty days, in others from twenty-six to thirty-one. Most women are "regularly irregular" in their cycle.

Female Sexual Anatomy

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Other pages on the penis and testicles

Penile pleasure for him (2)
Tips for him to please her (1)
Tips for him to please her (2)
The Female Sexual Organs
Penis-Vagina Sex Imaging

Best sex positions

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The penis, masculinity and sex
A Cultural History Of The Penis
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