Corpus cavernosum clitoridis
|Corpus cavernosum clitoridis|
|The internal anatomy of the human vulva, with the clitoral hood and labia minora indicated as lines.|
|Latin||corpus cavernosum clitoridis|
The corpus cavernosum clitoridis is homologous to the corpus cavernosum penis in the male. The body of the clitoris contains erectile tissue in a pair of corpora cavernosa with a recognisably similar structure.
In some circumstances, release of nitric oxide precedes relaxation of the clitoral cavernosal artery and nearby muscle, in a process similar to male arousal. More blood flows in through the clitoral cavernosal artery, the pressure in the corpora cavernosa clitoridis rises, and the clitoris is engorged with blood. This leads to extrusion of the glans clitoridis and enhanced sensitivity to physical contact.
The female anatomy has no corpus spongiosum, but instead two vestibular bulbs beneath the skin of the labia minora (at the entrance to the vagina), which expand at the same time as the glans clitoris to cap the ends of the corpora cavernosa.