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vulva (vәl´vә)   the external genital organs in the female. Two pairs of skin folds protect the vaginal opening, one on each side. The larger outer folds are the labia majora pudendi and the more delicate inner folds are the labia minora pudendi. In a virgin, a thin membrane called the hymen usually partially covers the opening of the vagina; it is normally well perforated and permits the menstrual flow. The upper or forward ends of the labia minora join around the clitoris, a small projection that is composed of erectile tissue like the male penis and has erotic functions. The opening of the urethra, which empties urine from the bladder, lies between the clitoris and the vagina. See also female reproductive organs. adj., vul´val, vul´var., adj.




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