The Vagina and Vulva (Female Anatomy)

An elastic, muscular canal with a soft, flexible lining that provides lubrication and sensation is known as vagina. The uterus to the outside world is connected through vagina. The entrance is formed by the vulva and labia, and the cervix of the uterus protrudes into the vagina, forming the interior end.During sexual intercourse the vagina receives the penis  […]
An elastic, muscular canal with a soft, flexible lining that provides lubrication and sensation is known as vagina. The uterus to the outside world is connected through vagina. The entrance is formed by the vulva and labia, and the cervix of the uterus protrudes into the vagina, forming the interior end.During sexual intercourse the vagina receives the penis  and also serves as a channel for menstrual flow from the uterus. During childbirth, the baby passes through the birth canal that is the vagina.A thin membrane of tissue that surrounds and narrows the vaginal opening is known as hymen. Sexual activity or by exercise the hymen may be torn or ruptured

Vagina Conditions

  • Inflammation of the vagina, commonly from a yeast infection or bacterial overgrowth is called vaginitis. Usual symptoms Itching, discharge, and change of odor. It is treated with antibiotics or antifungal medication.
  • Involuntary spasm of the vaginal muscles during sexual intercourse is knowns as vaginismus. Factors such as emotional distress about sex, or medical conditions, can be responsible. Treatment can be done with medicine, counseling or some other types of therapy depending on the cause
  • The vulva, vagina, and cervix are affected by genital warts. Treatments can help in the removal vaginal warts, which are caused by human papillomavirus (HPV).
  • A microscopic parasite called trichomonas can infect the vagina. Trichomoniasis is transferred by sex and is easily curable.
  • A disruption in the balance of healthy bacteria in the vagina is knowns as bacterial vaginosis, which often causes odor and discharge. Douching, or sex with a new partner can cause BV and is treated with antibiotics.
  • The vulva, vagina, and cervix, causing small, painful, recurring blisters and ulcers can be infected by the herpes virus. It is common to have no noticeable symptoms. The virus is transferred sexually. Treatment can be done but it cannot be cured
  • The sexually transmitted bacterial infection which most often infects the cervix is called gonorrhea. There are no symptoms noticed half of the time, but vaginal discharge and itching may happen. Pelvic inflammatory disease and infertility can be caused and is treated with antibiotics.
  • The bacterium Chlamydia trachomatis causes this sexually transferred infection. Only 50 percent of women will have symptoms, which may include vaginal discharge or pain in the vagina or abdomen. Pelvic inflammatory disease and infertility can be caused. Chlamydia can be treated with antibiotics.
  • Cancer of the vagina is extremely rare. Symptoms are Abnormal vaginal bleeding or discharge
  • Due to weakened pelvic muscles generally from childbirth, the rectum, uterus, or bladder pushes on the vagina and vaginal prolapse occurs. In severe cases, the vagina sticks out of the body.

Vagina Tests

  • Pelvic examination is conducted using a speculum where a doctor can evaluate the vulva, vagina, and cervix. Pelvic muscles strength can also be tested.
  • Papanicolaou smear or Pap smear is done during a pelvic exam where the examiner swabs the cervix and vagina. Pap smears screen for cervical or vaginal cancer.
  • For identifying bacterial infections a swab of the cervix and vagina during a pelvic exam may be cultured in a lab.
  • A microscope is used during a pelvic exam to evaluate closely the vulva, vagina, and cervix known as the colposcopy. Colposcopy can help in identification of cancer or other problems.
  • In the very few exceptional case of a suspicious growth in the vagina, a small piece of tissue or biopsy is done and may be sent to check for cancer.

Vagina Treatments

  • To treat yeast infections antifungal medications can be used, and antibiotic drugs can treat bacterial infections. Infections from the herpes virus cab ne treated with antiviral medicines.
  • A variety of methods can be used for the removal vaginal warts, including freezing, chemicals, burning with a laser, or cautery.
  • A small plastic or rubber device is placed inside the vagina to keep in place prolapsing pelvic organs which is known as vaginal pessary.
  • Exercising the pelvic muscles may help in improving or preventing vaginal prolapse and urinary incontinence.
  • The woman’s genital organs both inside and out respond to estrogen. Estrogen treatment may be useful for revitalizing these structures in postmenopausal women.
  • In rare cases of vaginal or cervical cancer, surgery is required for the removal of tumor. Vaginal prolapse may also be treated by surgery.

 

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