Get nerves of the clitoris into the American College of OB/GYN curriculum

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The nerves in the clitoris are 2-3 mm in diameter and travel superficially under the clitoral hood skin.

As such, they are vulnerable to injury and put at risk in a number of procedures OB/GYNs perform: biopsies, clitoral hood reductions, and repairs after childbirth, sexual assault, and straddle injuries. Understanding this anatomy is also important in diagnosing and managing female sexual dysfunction. 

Unfortunately, though the nerves in the clitoris were published in 1844 and many times since, they were omitted from OB/GYN literature until 2019. Though I’ve gotten studies published and multiple textbooks updated with this anatomy, it’s still not getting taught to most OB/GYNs. 

The American College of OB/GYNs has the power to help dictate what gets taught. But they recently said, in an email, that the nerves in the clitoris “do not fit” in their recommended CREOG curriculum for OB/GYNs. 

If they would include it, this would help ensure OB/GYNs are being taught this anatomy, which is critical for female sexual function. 

Personally, the nerves in my clitoris were injured in a clitoral hood reduction done without my consent during a labiaplasty. I lost clitoral sensation permanently. After my surgery, I was told by every OB/GYN I went to for help that my loss couldn’t have been caused by my surgery and was all in my head. 

16 years later, not one top 20 OB/GYN program will agree to teach this anatomy, despite being entreated to do so by me and my plastic surgeon father. 

There are many other women with stories like mine, who have lost clitoral function after biopsies, cosmetic surgeries, and repairs (including one after a rape). Preventable damage done during repairs likely goes unrecognized because women assume the original injury caused the damage, rather than their doctor. 

My loss was so traumatic it felt sometimes worse than death. It is made more painful knowing my injury isn’t considered worth preventing. But it is worth preventing.