The clitoris has 10,000 nerve endings

Which begs the question, how do they know that? | Here's why experts say the discovery is 'just the beginning' for sexual health

YAHOO! – When it comes to sexual pleasure, there’s one spot on the female anatomy that tends to get the most attention: the clitoris.

Yet despite the clitoris’s association with orgasms and female pleasure, not much is known about the organ.

For years, the clitoris was said to have 8,000 nerve endings — stated as fact in the 1976 book The Clitoris by Thomas Lowry and Thea Lowry, who cited a study on bovines.

Now, thanks to a new study led by the Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU), which was presented at an Oct. 27 conference hosted by the Sexual Medicine Society of North America and the International Society for Sexual Medicine, we know that there are actually a lot more nerve fibers packed into the tiny sexual organ.

According to the new research, that number is a whopping 10,281. By comparison, the palm of one’s hand has 17,000 nerve endings — in a much, much larger area.

“If we look at the difference between what we know about the penis and what we know about the vulva, it is a stark, very concerning difference.” 

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Yet this study on the clitoris provides more than just a fun fact — it also can have major implications for sexual health.

Why look for nerve endings in the clitoris?

There have long been questions on the validity of the claim of 8,000 nerve endings in the clitoris.

Activist Jessica Pin, who lost sensation in her clitoris after a labiaplasty and has been outspoken since about the lack of knowledge of female genitalia in medicine, penned a Medium article in 2018 suggesting that the bovine study should not be used as a source for human beings.

Dr. Maria Uloko, one of the study’s authors and an assistant professor of urology at UC San Diego and a urologist who specializes in the treatment of female sexual dysfunction, says that the inspiration for the study came from frustrations she was feeling …

Yet in order to really analyze just how many nerve endings there are in a human clitoris, one had to, well, actually count them. 


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