Patient Education - Health Library Vulva


The vulva is the external female genitalia. It includes the "lips" or folds of skin (labia), clitoris, and the openings to the urethra and vagina and lubricate the passageway.

Vulvar structures include:
  • The mons pubis, a skin-covered pad of fat over the pelvic joint that is covered by coarse hair in the adult female.
  • The clitoris, an erectile structure similar to the penis in males.
  • The labia minor, which is composed of fatty tissue and surrounds the opening of the vagina.
  • The labia major, which contains hair follicles and sweat and sebaceous glands; the labia major is modified on the inner surface by the labia minor, which is moist and does not contain hair follicles.
  • Bartholin's glands, two bean-shaped glands located on either side of the vaginal opening that secrete lubricating fluid.

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