Letter published in the New Scientist
In humans, clitoral stimulation is better at eliciting orgasm than penetration. Helen O’Connell writes that “the anatomy of the clitoris has not been stable with time” i.e. it is written in and out of anatomy textbooks according to current medical fashion. She presented more accurate illustrations in 2005, based on dissection and MRI scans and concluded that, like an iceberg, most of the clitoris is hidden inside the female body. Its main body appears to be anchored at the pubis symphysis and the crura at the pubic arch. The bulbs slope backwards around the vagina. Her work led me to wonder whether the clitoris has a role to play in birth, with the passage of the fetal head triggering orgasm – thus providing a handy cushion of engorged tissue, a bolus of oxytocin and both vaginal and uterine contractions to complete the birth.
Some women report birth to be orgasmic (alas, not me, but I certainly benefited from the oxytocin rush).
Ventnor, Isle of Wight
HELEN E. O’CONNELL,*,† KALAVAMPARA V. SANJEEVAN AND JOHN M. HUTSON ANATOMY OF THE CLITORIS
From the Department of Urology, Royal Melbourne Hospital, Victoria, Australia Journal of Urology, 2005 174, 1189-1195