Clitoris and Clitoral Disorders

The clitoris, a significant organ in female sexuality, is often overlooked in health discussions. However, it's essential to understand its structure, potential issues, and ways to maintain its health. This blog post aims to shed light on these aspects, providing a comprehensive understanding of the clitoris.

The Anatomy of the Clitoris

The clitoris is a highly sensitive erectile organ situated in the anterior portion of the vulva, crucial in female sexual arousal and pleasure.

An image showing the anatomy of the clitoris

Its most visible component is the glans clitoris, which is positioned at the external forefront of the vulva. This glans is partially enshrouded by the clitoral hood, a fold of skin that serves to protect this sensitive area.

Beneath the surface, the clitoris extends much deeper than what is visible externally. Approximately 80% of the clitoris is internal, forming a structure often likened to a Y-shape. It features two elongated tissues known as the crura (or clitoral roots), which are located on either side of the vulva. These crura are made of erectile tissue, mirroring the corpus cavernosum in males, which swell during sexual arousal.

The crura converge towards the central pelvic area, transitioning into what is known as the body of the clitoris. This body measures approximately 2-3 centimeters in length and extends internally before bending forward at an angle known as the clitoral knee. This bending aids in the clitoris's interaction with the surrounding vaginal and urethral tissues, contributing to sexual sensation.

Clitoral Disorders

Clitoral disorders range from mild issues that are easily treatable to more complex ones requiring specialized medical interventions. Below, we explore some prevalent clitoral disorders:


Clitoridynia, a specific form of vulvodynia, involves frequent and intense pain localized around the clitoris. This pain may significantly impact quality of life, necessitating professional medical evaluation and, often, a multidisciplinary treatment approach.


Clitoromegaly refers to an enlarged clitoris, often resulting from elevated androgen levels, such as testosterone. While high androgen levels in women can correlate with increased sexual desire, clitoral size does not directly affect its functionality.

Hormonal Imbalances and Infections

Hormonal imbalances, such as those seen in polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), can lead to clitoral hypertrophy. Additionally, genital infections like yeast infections, bacterial vaginosis, and sexually transmitted infections (STIs) can compromise clitoral health. Symptoms of a genital infection may include painful urination, unusual vaginal discharge or odor, itching, discomfort during intercourse, non-menstrual vaginal bleeding, and visible sores or warts on the genital area.

Dermatological Issues and Inflammation

Various skin conditions, such as seborrheic dermatitis, lichen planus, psoriasis, and irritant contact dermatitis, can also affect the clitoris. Clitoral adhesions, where the clitoral hood becomes attached to the glans, preventing full retraction, can lead to discomfort and pain.

Genital lichen sclerosus is a serious condition that can cause the skin around the clitoris to crack, develop hypopigmentation, atrophy, plaques, abrasions, and intense itching. In advanced cases, scar tissue formation may impair clitoral function.

Allergic Reactions

Allergies to products such as latex condoms, genital hygiene products, intimate deodorants, depilatory creams, vaginal lubricants, spermicides, and residual detergents from laundry can trigger reactions affecting the clitoris.


Though rare, tumors like vulvar cancer and metastatic cancers, which spread from other areas of the body, can present as lesions on the clitoris.


Various clitoral disorders exhibit common symptoms that may necessitate medical consultation. These symptoms include:

  • Intense and persistent itching
  • Redness of the labial tissue
  • Edema and tenderness of the vulva
  • Clitoral pain

If you encounter any of these symptoms, then seek advice from a healthcare provider. Early diagnosis and treatment can prevent complications and alleviate discomfort.


Treatment for clitoral conditions often involves both medical and lifestyle approaches:

  • Medications and Topical Creams: These can be used to alleviate irritation and treat the underlying causes, such as infections or hormonal imbalances. Common treatments include antifungal creams for yeast infections or corticosteroid creams for inflammatory skin conditions.
  • Keeping the Vulva Clean and Dry: Gently wash the area with mild, unscented soap and water, and ensure it is dry to prevent moisture buildup, which can exacerbate symptoms.
  • Avoiding Irritants: Avoid aggressive detergents, scented products, and potential allergens in intimate hygiene products to reduce the risk of allergic reactions and irritation.

Maintaining Clitoral Health

Maintaining the health of the clitoris involves protecting against sexually transmitted diseases and undergoing regular gynecological examinations. Routine checks can help detect any conditions that could affect the clitoral health early, making them easier to treat.

Using condoms or dental dams during sex can protect against infections. Daily genital hygiene with warm water and neutral intimate cleansers is also crucial.

In conclusion, understanding the clitoris and potential issues is vital for maintaining female sexual health. Regular check-ups, good hygiene practices, and awareness of potential disorders can go a long way in preserving clitoral health.

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The Wellyme Team

We understand the importance of reliable information, and our goal is to provide you with knowledge that empowers and informs your wellness journey.