For the past 40-odd years, the claim that the clitoris has 8,000 nerve endings was pretty much accepted as fact. Clit canon, if you will.
One little problem with that claim: it refers to a study on cows.
Yep, you read that right. Cows.
This is alarming for several reasons, including but not limited to us never being able to unthink the phrase “cow clitoris.”
It was only recently that an evaluation of nerve endings was done on the human clitoris. Research by Blair Peters, MD, of Oregon Health & Science University in Portland, shows that there are, on average, 10,280 nerve fibers in the clitoris.
This can help improve procedures such as reconstruction after clitoral injuries, gender-affirming surgery, labiaplasty, and surgery for endometriosis.
Historically, the vulva—which includes the clitoris, the labia majora, and the labia minora—has been pretty much overlooked by medical science. Accurate representation of the clitoris’ anatomy and function is severely lacking in medical textbooks and literature.
But the sexual function of the penis? Extensive research on the subject. This has created a major sexual health knowledge gap.
On a more upbeat note, let’s take a step back and marvel at how many nerve fibers are contained in such a small area of our body.
The entire clitoris is around 10 centimeters long and contains an average of 10,280 nerve fibers. Dr. Peters says that the median nerve of our hand contains around 18,000 nerve fibers. “Compare the size of a hand to the size of the glans of the clitoris, and it gives you context of how densely innervated the structure actually is.”
Plus, the clit is the only organ with the sole purpose of providing pleasure. It’s cliterally the best.
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