Diseases affecting the vagina
PARTS OF THE FEMALE GENITALS
What is the vagina?
The vagina and vulva are parts of the female reproductive system. They are the internal and external female genitalia.
The vagina is the tube that leads from the vulva to the uterus. It is an elastic tube, which, in mammals, allows the entry of the penis in the completion of intercourse.
Functions of the vagina and vulva.
From a reproductive standpoint, the vagina is responsible for receiving sperm. Its elasticity allows the exit of the fetus. It is also considered as the excretory canal of the components of menstruation. It is a canal that runs parallel to the anus at a distance of about 2.5 cm.
What is the vulva?
The vulva is the external part of the female organ. It consists of:
– The clitoris is an erectile female organ that corresponds to the male penis and which function is to provide pleasure to women. It is at the top of the vulva. The clitoris gets an erection after sexual stimulation and is one of the sensitive parts of the female genitals, along with the G-spot. Stimulation of these areas is what produces the female orgasm.
– The set of lips or folds that cover the clitoris, the entrance of the vagina and the urethral orifice. Its function is to protect the vagina and the clitoris so that only a small portion of it is outside. These lips may be: surrounding labia which form the clitoral hood and are covered with hair. The labia minora that are within the labia majora and are found around the vagina and the urethral orifice. The labia minora have no hair.
– The vestibule of the vagina or space that is surrounded by the labia minora.
– The vaginal introitus or opening of the vagina. Originally it is partly covered by a membrane called the hymen.
– Bartholin’s glands are located near the introitus. Its function is to produce lubricant which will allow the penis into the vagina.
– The urethral opening is the exit of the urethra; it is the tube that carries urine from the bladder to the outside. The urethral opening is located in the “vestibule” of the vagina between the clitoris and the vaginal entrance. The urethra is part of the excretory system and not the reproductive system.
Vaginal Care. Female genital hygiene
The vagina is a part of the female reproductive system that needs special care. The vagina produces a series of flows with a dual function:
– To act as lubricants to allow a pleasant penetration, while not undermining the health of its forming tissues. A dry vagina is a source of sexual dissatisfaction by causing painful intercourse which causes irritation or injury in its walls.
– To create a breeding ground for the existence of a number of beneficial bacteria. These bacteria can neutralize other negative bacteria by eliminating or reducing their number. For the bacterial flora to develop, the vagina needs to present a certain humidity and acidity. Disruption of this balance can lead to the development of pathogens that cause vaginal infections.
The vagina and vulva require normal and appropriate cleaning habits. Above all, it needs a kind of hygiene that respects the natural fluids in the area. The external genitalia must be kept very clean with the proper use of non aggressive soap and water. The use of soaps and detergents can remove rich bacterial flora and promote proper growth of other harmful bacteria.
One of the characteristics of the female genital tract is the characteristic smell of the vulva as a result of its multiple flows. The smell is caused by female genital secretions of the apocrine glands and is a hallmark of sexuality; in all mammals it is used as a source of sexual attraction. However, although many people consider it nice, for other people, due to cultural and not biological reasons, it is unbearable.
This smell, if there are no infections in the area and a proper genital hygiene is maintained, is a “fresh scent” perfectly normal and in no way reprehensible. We must distinguish the fresh smell from the “odor” that occurs as a result of disease and anomalies.
Unfortunately, in modern societies we try to mask the natural vaginal odor with an excessive use of soaps, deodorants and perfumes. This is counterproductive and, in most cases, leads to an alteration of vaginal flora which involves development of microorganisms that cause many diseases.
Vaginal diseases. Vaginal and vulvar problems.
For a detailed study of the main diseases and problems that affect the vagina and vulva as well as the methods of hygiene more adapted to avoid them, consult the listing above.
Related information:“Food and vaginal infections”