The Female Sexual Response: Anatomy and Physiology of Sexual Desire, Arousal, and Orgasm in Women



The anatomy and physiology of the female sexual response comprises the structural and functional elements of the female external genitalia and the vagina, the physiological changes occurring during the sexual response cycle, and the endocrine and neurobiological regulation of this response. The external genitalia are composed of the mons pubis, labia majora, labia minora, clitoris, vulvar vestibule and periurethral tissue, perineum, and the urethral and anal openings. The vagina links the vulvar structures to the inner genitalia. These anatomical structures are involved in the female sexual response and are regulated by neurobiological and endocrine processes which function according the Dual Control Model by providing excitatory and inhibitory pathways.


External genitalia Physiology of sexual response Peripheral and central regulation 


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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department Obstetrics and GynecologyUniversity Hospital BaselBaselSwitzerland

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