Let’s talk about the birds and the bees…

Hi Readers!

Great News!!!

In 3 days it will be spring!!! March 20th is the first day of spring! More people are out, it is beginning to warm up, a new beginning, days are longer! More people will be going out on dates, forming couples, etc. This is a great time to take a deep dive into the human reproductive anatomy! Let’s go!

There is one common part in both male and female genital anatomy and that is the anus. It is the opening of the rectum. The anus has a lot of sensitive nerve endings, so some people enjoy sexual pleasure from stimulating this body part.

We will begin with what is typically called ‘male genitalia’. 

The external anatomy is:

  • The penis: It is made of 3 layers of spongy tissue. When a person is aroused, blood fills these tissues. This causes the penis to become hard and stand up erect and is called an erection. The average size of an adult erect penis is between 5 to 7 inches long. All penises look different. For example: some curve, some are circumsized, others not, etc. (This is normal!!) They may look different, but they all have the same parts.
  • Glans: This is also commonly called the head or tip of the penis and contains the opening for the urethera. This is also where the pre-ejaculate and semen come out of as well as urine. For many, this is the most sensitive part of the penis. 
  • Shaft: The shaft of the penis extends from the tip to where it connects to the lower belly. The urethra is inside the shaft.
  • Foreskin: This is a patch of skin that covers and protects the glans. When the penis is erect, the foreskin pulls back and the tip is exposed. For some, foreskin is circumcised (surgically removed by a doctor soon after birth). 
  • Frenulum: This is where the foreskin meets the underside of the penis. It looks like a V just below the glans. This is very sensitive for many.
  • The Scrotum: This is the sac of skin that hangs below the penis. The scrotum holds the testicles and keeps them at the right temperature. If it’s too cold, the scrotum pulls the testicles closer to the body and vice-a-versa if it’s too warm. This part of the genitalia is covered by hair, which varies in colour. The scrotum can be big or small and may differ between the right side and the left side. The scrotum is very sensitive.

The internal anatomy is:

  • Testicles: They are the 2 ball-like glands inside the scrotum. They make sperm and hormones like testosterone.
  • Epididymis: This is the tube where the sperm matures. It connects each testicle to each vas deferens. It holds the sperm before ejaculation.
  • Vas Deferens: This is a long, narrow tube that carries sperm from the epididymis to the seminal vesicles during ejaculation. There is is one vas deferens for each epididymis.
  • Seminal Vesicles: These are 2 small organs that produce semen, the fluid that the sperm moves in. This is located below the bladder.
  • Prostate gland: Makes the fluid that helps your sperm move. It is approximately the size of a walnut of golf ball. The prostate gland is sensitive to the touch that can be pleasurable for many.
  • Cowper’s Glands: This produces fluid called pre-ejaculate. It prepares the urethra for ejaculation. It reduces friction so the semen can move easily. These glands are under the prostate and attached to the urethra. 
  • Urethra: This tube carries urine, pre-ejaculate and semen out of the body.
  • Cremaster: This is a muscle that moves the scrotum and testicles closer to the body. It happens  when it is too cold, when the individual is aroused or when the inner thigh is touched.   

Now let’s learn about what is typically “female genitalia”.

  • Vulva: part of the genitals on the outside of the body. The vulva has a lot more parts than just the vagina. Lots of people tend to say vagina when they really mean vulva although vagina is part of the vulva. Just like penises, there are no 2 vulvas that look the same, but they are made up of the same parts.
  • Labia: These are commonly called the lips, which are folds of skin around the vaginal opening. The labia majora, the outer lips, are usually covered with pubic hair. The labia minora, the inner lips, are inside the outer lips. These begin at the clitoris and end under the opening of the vagina. The labias vary in colour, some are pink, some are brown. The colour can change as individuals get older. Labias are sensitive and swell when aroused. 
  • Clitoris: The tip of the clitoris is located at the top of the vulva, where the inner lips meet. It is also covered by the clitoral hood. The size of the clitoris varies. The part that is visible is only the beginning of the clitoris as it extends inside the body and down on both sides of the vagina and is approximately 5 inches long. The clitoris is made of spongy tissues that become swollen when aroused. It has thousands of nerve endings – more than any other part of the human body, so you can imagine that it brings lots of pleasure!
  • Opening of the Urethra: This is a tiny hole that the urine comes out of, located just below the clitoris.
  • Opening of the vagina: It is located right below the urethral opening. It is where menstrual blood leaves the body, and through which babies are usually born. 
  • Mons Pubis: The mons is a mound above the vulva. After puberty, it is covered with pubic hair. The mons pubis cushions the pubic bone. 

The internal parts female sexual anatomy:

  • Vagina: A tube that connects the vulva with the cervix and uterus. It’s what babies and menstrual blood leave the body through. The vagina is really stretchy, and expands when a person is aroused. 
  • Cervix: The cervix is located and divides the vagina and uterus. It is round and has a hole in the middle which connects the uterus and the vagina. It let’s menstrual blood out and sperm in. It dilates during childbirth. The cervix separates the vagina from the rest of the body. 
  • Uterus: This is a pear-shaped muscular organ. This is where the foetus grows during pregnancy, some refer to it as the womb. During sexual arousal, the lower part of the uterus lifts toward the belly button, which is why the vagina gets longer when aroused.  
  • Fallopian tubes: These are 2 narrow tubes that carry eggs from the ovaries to the uterus. These are also used by the sperm to travel to fertilise an egg.
  • Fimbriae: Look like tiny fingers at the end of each fallopian tube. When the ovary releases an egg, they sweep it into the fallopian tube.
  • Ovaries: The ovaries store the eggs. They produce hormones, including oestrogen, progesterone and testosterone. These hormones control things like your period and pregnancy. 
  • Bartholin’s glands: These glands are near the vaginal opening. They release fluid that lubricates the vagina when aroused. 
  • Skene’s glands: They are on either side of the urethral opening. They release fluid during female ejaculation. 
  • Hymen: This is a thin tissue that stretches across part of the opening to the vagina. Hymens can sometimes, but not always, tear and cause some bleeding the first time vaginal penetration occurs. 
  • G spot: The famous Gräfenberg spot! It is located on the front or belly-button side of the vagina. It is a few inches inside the vagina and swells when aroused. Some like the feeling of their G-spot being touched. 
Photo credit: WebMD 
Photo credit: PlannedParenthood
Photo credit: PlannedParenthood

You should explore your body and get to know what your genitalia look and feel like. Yes, that means grab a mirror and check yourself out!! It is important to know what ‘YOUR normal’ looks and feels like so if something doesn’t seem right you are able to better identify it and seek out medical assistance.

Happy Spring Equinox!!

Be kind to one another

Julia, Sexologist

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