The Female Genital System
The overwhelming majority of women worldwide have little knowledge of their sexual anatomy, physiology, and their sexual capacity. They simply have had no significant education in the sexual realm and, unfortunately, that is the way it has been designed in our predominantly patriarchal societies. To keep women ignorant is to assure effective control.
Nowadays, women of the Western world have made momentous advances in developing their self-actualization and autonomy; yet, few have more than a cursory understanding of their genital structures and functions.
Francis Bacon (1561–1626), a British philosopher, said that knowledge is power; but, knowledge can also constrict—it binds one to that specific level of understanding. Therefore, if a woman’s knowledge is constrained and focused on myth, fabrication, and untruth, her actions and beliefs are effectively restricted.
Where do you stand? Is your knowledge and understanding of your genital system comprehensive or is it cursory?
- Can you name all the anatomical components?
- Do you know the specific location of each?
- Do you know what each looks like?
- Do you have a working knowledge of the function of each?
Most women would respond with a qualified yes to each of the above questions; unfortunately, experience dictates to the contrary.
To test your knowledge and understanding of your genital anatomy and physiology, simply click on the following links:
The Functions of the Female Genital System
In order for you to enjoy your sexual potential to the fullest, it is necessary for you not only to know the various anatomic components and their specific locations, but you must be aware of the function of each component and the role it plays in your sexual prowess. How many of the following functions are you aware of?
- Mons Pubis: its dual function is to protect your pubic bone and heighten sexual arousal, as it is an integral part of the clitoral complex.
- Pubic Hair: has several functions; the primary purpose of which is to trap and hold pheromones (a chemical substance often referred to as an ectohormone) that you secrete as a sexual stimulus. This is important for cunnilingus as it greatly enhances your partner’s sexual arousal. It also transfers touch stimulation to the vulva and adds warmth to your genitals. Additionally, it serves to filter out foreign particles from entering your vagina. You may want to think twice before you shave it off.
- Anterior Commissure: its primary function is to enhance sexual arousal and subsequent orgasm, since it acts to interconnect the mons, pubic hair, and labia majora with the clitoris.
- Labia Majora: functions to form the lateral boundaries of the vulva and protects its contents. Since it is erectile, it acts to heighten sexual arousal. Incidentally, the scrotum develops from this same embryonic tissue.
- Round Ligament: connects the uterus to the labia majora and the mons pubis and functions to maintain of the anteversion of the uterus. During sexual arousal, it acts to tip the uterus.
- Labia Minora: is a highly significant part of your sexuality for it not only is erectile, but it is integrally associated with your clitoris. Superiorly, it forms the prepuce (clitoral hood) and inferiorly, it forms the frenulum (bridle).
- Suspensory Ligament: functions to connect the clitoral shaft to the ovaries. As sexual arousal heightens, the ligament acts to retract the glans back under the prepuce.
- Prepuce: is an extension of the labia minora and functions primarily to cover and protect the glans of the clitoris.
- Clitoris: its only function is to provide exquisite sexual pleasure.
- Vestibule: Its function is to contribute significantly to heighten sexual arousal, as it is an area that is highly sensitive to stimulation, especially by the tongue.
- Urethral Meatus: functions to expel urine from the urinary bladder.
- Paraurethral Sponge: has two distinct functions. First, it is composed of erectile tissue that engorges during sexual arousal compressing the urethra and preventing urination during sexual interaction. Second, it contains the Skene’s glands that with stimulation, coupled with a high state of sexual arousal, may produce an ejaculate (female ejaculation). Additionally, since the sponge surrounds the clitoral nerve, and since the two are so closely interconnected, stimulation of the clitoris may stimulate the nerve endings of the paraurethral sponge and vise versa, each heightening the state of sexual arousal.
- Skene’s Glands (also known as the lesser vestibular or paraurethral glands): have only one function: to secrete, store, and release fluid known as female ejaculation.
- Vagina: is distinctly multifunctional having four distinct functions: (1) an outlet for menstrual flow; (2) the copulatory organ; (3) a repository for sperm; and (4) the birth canal.
- Vulvovaginal Glands (also known as Bartholin’s glands or greater vestibular glands): It has long been advocated that the secretion from these glands served to lubricate the vaginal orifice for penetration; however, this is a misconception based entirely on the male sex standard. In actuality,they secrete a waxy substance containing pheromones; therefore, their function is to enhance your partner’s arousal, especially during cunnilingus.
- Fourchette (also known as the frenulum labiorum pudendi): is a frenulum where the labia minora meet inferiorly and functions as a highly sensitive area leading to heightened sexual arousal.
- Perineum: functions as a highly sensitive area during sexual arousal.
- Perineal Sponge: being erectile tissue, it engorges during sexual stimulation creating erogenous sensations that heighten sexual arousal.
- Pelvic Floor Muscles: Their primary function is to support the pelvic organs: the urinary bladder, intestines, and uterus. They also aid in maintaining continence as part of the urinary and anal sphincters. Because fibers of the muscles interconnect with those underlying the clitoral bulbs, they also contribute to sexual arousal when stimulated appropriately.
- Uterus: The main function of the uterus is to accept a fertilized ovum.
- Fallopian Tubes: their only function is to capture and transport an ovum as it is released from the ovary.
- Ovaries: Each ovary performs two major functions: producing and releasing ova; and producing and secreting hormones.
- Blood Vessels: as related to the sexual process have two functions: (1) vasoconstriction producing engorgement and tuminescence and (2) vasodilation producing detuminescence.
- Nerves: function to carry impulses to and from the spinal cord and brain.
- Your clitoris is often represented as the homologue of the penis; however, a more accurate description would be the opposite—that the penis is the homologue of the clitoris.
- The clitoris is a major component of the clitoral complex, an anatomic arrangement typically ignored by many authors.
- Additionally, your clitoris is frequently, albeit erroneously, depicted as much smaller than the penis.
- Actually, the clitoris is as large as or larger than the penis, measuring over 8 inches in length when erect.
- The clitoris is composed of four distinct parts (click here for image):
- The glans
- The shaft or body
- The crura or legs
- The bulbs.
- As your sexual arousal heightens, the glans clitoris emerges from under the prepuce (hood) in order to obtain greater stimulation.
- However, as you near orgasm, the glans retreats back under the hood to avoid over-stimulation.
- Nevertheless, when you are multiorgasmic, if you manually retract the hood exposing the glans, you most likely will build a heightened arousal leading to explosive orgasms.
- Since every woman experiences direct clitoral stimulation differently, some with exquisite pleasure, others with essentially no change, and others may experience pain to varying degrees; it is prudent for you to experiment until you find the right pattern of stimulation for you.
- The clitoris is the most sensitive of all female body parts.
- It contains 8,000 nerve endings, contrasted to 4,000 for the penis.
- It interacts actively with over 15,000 additional nerve endings throughout the pelvis.
- In short, it is exquisitely sensitive.
- The only function of the clitoris is ecstasy, leading to orgasm.
- Your vagina is a collapsed elastic muscular tube measuring approximately 4 inches in length and 1 inch in diameter.
- It connects proximately (superiorly or upper) to the uterine cervix and distally (inferiorly or lower) it opens into the vestibule.
- When you stand, your vaginal canal is oriented up and in, forming an angle of approximately 45 degrees with the uterus.
- The entrance is known as the introitus.
- When not sexually aroused, your vagina is closed; the walls collapsed upon each other. (click here for image)
- Once sexual activity is started, the blood vessels within the walls of your vagina begin to exude a fluid (the wetness so characteristic of sexual interaction) that acts as a lubricant.
- This wetness usual begins after 10 to 30 seconds of activity.
- As your sexual arousal heightens, your vaginal canal actually lengthens by about 2 inches, so that it becomes approximately 6 inches in length.
- Concomitantly, the upper ⅔ (toward the cervix) balloons out to more than double its unaroused state.
- As your arousal becomes greater, the lower ⅓ (toward the introitus) narrows and tightens, constricting to form the clitoral cuff at the introitus.
- This constriction acts to increase friction, which then actually “milks” the glans penis and causes male ejaculation.
- The upper ⅔ of your vagina has essentially no sensitivity.
- The lower ⅓ is quite sensitive.
- The introitus is exquisitely sensitive.
- However, the vagina itself has no mechanism to stimulate pleasure or orgasm for women.
- Outlet for menstrual flow;
- Your copulatory organ;
- A repository for sperm; and
- The birth canal.
- The taste of normal vaginal fluids is usually tart and much like yogurt, since the microorganisms that are found in live cultured yogurt are the same as those found in your vagina.
- Also, the composition of the fluid is relatively low in glucose, as it is in yogurt, since high glucose content would favor fungal growth.
- Normally your vagina is both self-regulating and self-cleaning.
- It has an acid environment (pH=3.5 to 4.5) that is favorable to the growth of its natural flora, especially lactobacillus acidophilus.
- It’s the lactobacillus that controls the health of your vagina by limiting the growth of pathogenic organisms by producing hydrogen peroxide and lactic acid.
Should you douche?
- It is recommended that you do not douche or use any feminine product inside your vagina unless prescribed specifically by your physician.
- Douching changes the vaginal pH adversely.
- It flushes out the desired organisms, such as lactobacillus, thus contributing to the adverse pH change.
- It also can cause physical irritation and set the stage for infection.
- It may, through pressure, force pathogenic bacteria into the uterus that may result in PID (pelvic inflammatory disease).
Should you wash inside your vagina with soap?
- It is recommended that you do not use soap to cleanse the inside of your vagina.
- Soap is alkaline and will alter the pH of the system setting the stage for bacterial vaginitis.
- However, there are soaps made specifically for the vagina that have the correct pH. They are made with lactic acid, the natural product of the lactobacillus.
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