Sexual Health Q&A

Does clitoral size affect sexual functioning and pleasure?

New research suggests that the size and location of a woman’s clitoris may affect her ability to reach orgasm.

The external portion of the clitoris, called the glans, is a small structure found between the pubic bone and the upper labia. However, most of the clitoris is not visible and extends inward toward the vagina.

The clitoris has thousands of nerve endings and is the source of intense sexual pleasure for many women. Clitoral stimulation often leads to orgasm. However, this does not always happen.

In a study published in February 2014 in The Journal of Sexual Medicine, American researchers investigated whether the size of the clitoris had any influence on orgasm. Thirty women participated in the study. Ten women were anorgasmic (unable to reach orgasm). The remaining twenty had no problems with orgasm.

The women completed questionnaires about their general and sexual health. The researchers measured each woman’s hormonal levels and studied magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) results that showed clitoral size and location.

The research team found that clitoral glans size tended to be smaller in anorgasmic women. They also noticed that, for these women, there was a greater distance between the clitoris and the vagina. These two factors could affect a woman’s sexual pleasure, the researchers said.  (Please click here to learn more about this study.)

While clitoral size and location might play a role in female orgasm, there can be other contributing factors, such as depression, anxiety, relationship issues, and conflicted feelings about sex. Women who have difficulty reaching orgasm might consider talking to their doctor or a sex therapist.