Vulva or the womb is a part of the female reproductive system. It is a collective term for the female external sex organs, the external genitals. It consists of the vaginal vestibule, where is the urethral meatus, the vagina, labia majora, labia minora and the clitoris. From this we can conclude that the vulva is used during urination, sexual intercourse, menstruation and childbirth. In front of the vulva is a pubic mound, also called mons veneris. It is a triangular fat pad, which is covered with pubic hair during sexual maturity. In the back the vulva proceeds in to the perineum, which is the area between the genitals and the anus.
Anatomy of the vulva
Labia majora are a pair organ. They are a fold of skin that encircles the vaginal opening. In the back they pass in to the perineum. The outer part of the labia is covered in puberty by pubic hair. Labia majora are formed by fat and swollen during sexual intercourse. The labia minora are also a pair organ and they are covered by labia majora. Many sebaceous glands are situated here. They enclose the vaginal vestibule. The vaginal vestibule is arranged that most in front is the clitoris; behind it is the urethral meatus and completely in the back is the vaginal opening. The vaginal vestibule also contains the Bartholin's glands. It is a pair gland, which releases a lubricating substance that enhances the entry of the penis into the vagina during sexual intercourse. The orifice of the Bartholin's glands is located in the direct vicinity of the vaginal opening.
Clitoris and its circumcision
Another part of the vulva is the clitoris. This is a very interesting organ, which has the same development as the penis, resulting in great similarity of these organs. The only external part is the tip of the clitoris, which is covered by a foreskin like the penis. Like the penis the clitoris has a rich system of tiny vessels. As a result of congestion the clitoris enlarges as well as the penis and erection occurs. In addition, both organs contain rich nerve supply, which ensures their high sensitivity. Their stimulation leads to sexual arousal and can lead to orgasm. A negative about the clitoris and the penis is unfortunately a highly controversial topic of their circumcision. It is still performed in large numbers, especially in Africa. It is a partial or total removal of the clitoris or the foreskin of the penis.
Diseases of the vulva
In the area of the vulva mainly inflammatory diseases occur. Vulvar inflammation usually occurs along with vaginal inflammation. Rarely it occurs by itself. The vulva may also be affected by cancer. Vulvar inflammation and cancer, as well as other gynecological diseases have very similar symptoms. The type of the disease is determined by a doctor and he suggests an appropriate treatment.
As already mentioned, the vulvar inflammation usually occurs with the vaginal inflammation. If it appears by itself it affects mainly children and elderly women. The cause of vulvar inflammation is skin damage due to irritation. This can occur when wearing wet or damp underwear, by sweat, urine, scratching, friction, contamination and poor hygiene. By contrast vulvar inflammation can be stimulated by excessive use of scented soaps and inappropriate intimate cosmetics. Attention should be increased when using sanitary pads, which should not be too hard. The symptoms of vulvar inflammation are mainly itching and redness. Treatment is with antifungal agents and sometimes corticosteroids.
Vulvar cancer is seen rather rarely in gynecological ambulances. It mainly affects women over 60, but with the rising incidence of HPV or the human papillomavirus, the incidence in younger women increases. Vulvar cancer develops slowly. Its symptoms include itching, burning, pain and swelling of the vulva, along with the appearance of blemishes. In the later stages of the cancer bleeding and ulcerating formations on the vulva appear. This indicates a poor prognosis. Vulvar cancer is most commonly treated surgically. Vulva is a place easily accessible for examination. Therefore, most tumors are found in time. However, it is necessary to regularly visit your gynecologist.