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how many nerve endings does the clitoris actually have?

For over 40 years, it has been widely accepted that the clitoris has 8000 nerve endings. However, there was one teeny tiny problem with this claim...

The original study to gather this information was based on a study of cows vs actual real-life human vulva owners. We couldn't believe it either!


To help set the record straight, Dr Blair Peters of Oregon Health & Science University in Portland, USA undertook a study on the human clitoris. His studies found there are on average, approximately 10,000 nerve fibres in the clitoris (hooray!)

Dr Peters is a gender-affirming surgeon and says this work can help improve procedures such as reconstruction after clitoral injuries, labiaplasty, and surgery for endometriosis.

Historically, the vulva – which includes the clitoris, the labia majora, and the labia minora – has been pretty much overlooked by medical science. Accurate representation of the clitoris’ anatomy and function is severely lacking in medical textbooks and literature.

But the sexual function of the penis? Well, there is extensive research on the subject. This has created a major sexual health knowledge gap, something that we at pleasure gap are keen to help close.

Dr Peters says that the entire clitoris is wishbone shaped, approximately 10cm long and contains an average of 10,280 nerve fibres.


“Compare the size of a hand, which is said to have 18,000 nerve fibres, to the size of the glans of the clitoris, and it gives you context of how densely innervated the structure actually is.”

- Dr. Peters


Plus, did you know, the clitoris is the only organ with the sole purpose of providing pleasure? We know right? We’re super lucky.



Photography: @joanmartinezros via Instagram

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