Clitoris

Glans

The specific erectile tissue of the glans, which is far better identifiable in neonates, becomes a vague layer of fibroelastic tissue with sinusoidal blood vessels, numerous nerves, and Pacinian corpuscles (Fig. 11). There is a small and solid glandopreputial lamella. Most of the volume of the glans is provided by the tip of the fused corpora cavernosa. The epidermis is keratinized, but unlike the labia majora and minora, it is not hyperpigmented, and does not show skin appendages of any kind.

Medical Clitoris
Figure 11 The skin of the glans of the clitoris is composed of keratinized epidermis without appendages and two layers of dermis, with both numerous blood vessels and nerves.

Body

The body is composed of right and left corpora cavernosa surrounded by a sheet of dense collagen (the tunica), which also incompletely divides them (Fig. 12). The corpora cavernosa consist of erectile tissue with numerous, gaping, thin-walled sinusoidal vessels. The sinuses have endothelium but no smooth muscle in their walls. Between the sinusoids, however, there are bundles of smooth muscle, large nerves, and fibrous stroma. Pacinian corpuscles are seen associated with the nerves.

Crura

The crura are composed of corpus cavernous (sinusoidal) tissue, which is surrounded by its tunica. The tunica is absent laterally where the crus attaches to bone. Pacinian corpuscles are seen, but unlike the body, large nerve and vascular trunks are not present.

Bulbs of the Vestibule

The bulbs are composed of cavernous (sinusoidal and erectile) tissue, but the vascular spaces are larger and more gaping, and the trabeculae with conspicuous arteries thicker than in clitoral tissues (Fig. 13). They have only a thin capsule rather than a thick fibrous tunic, and do not become as erect as clitoris. Bulbar tissue merges with the adventitia of the vagina and gradually passes into rich vascular plexuses in the anterior wall of the vestibule. Large neurovascular bundles and pacinian corpuscles are not seen.

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