News Release 

The reproductive function of the clitoris

Wiley

A recent review published in Clinical Anatomy highlights evidence that the female clitoris is important for reproduction.

The review notes that stimulating the clitoris activates the brain to cause a combination of changes in the female reproductive tract that creates its readiness to receive and process sperm to achieve possible fertilisation of the egg. These include enhancement of vaginal blood flow, an increase in vaginal lubrication, an increase in vaginal oxygen and temperature, and most importantly a change in the position of the cervix, the entrance to the uterus. This change brings the cervix away from the semen pool and prevents semen from traveling into the uterus too rapidly, thus allowing sperm time to become mobile and activated to fertilise the egg.

Therefore, the clitoris has both procreative (reproductive) and recreative (pleasure) functions. Removal of the clitoris--which is performed in some countries and cultures--creates not only a sexual disability but also a possible reproductive disability.

"The often repeated mantra, that the sole function of clitoris is to induce sexual pleasure, is now obsolete," said the review's author, Roy Levin, MSc, PhD. "The concept changes a major sexual belief, and the physiological evidence is now obvious."

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