Disorders of the Vulva: Common Causes of Vulvar Pain, Burning, and Itching
Vulvar Anatomy. The vulva is the external part of the female genitalia. It protects a womanТs sexual organs, urinary opening, vestibule and vagina and is the center of much of a womanТs sexual response. The outer and inner СlipsТ of the vulva are called the labia majora and labia minora. The vestibule surrounds the opening of the vagina, or introitus, and the opening of the urethra, or urethral meatus. The vulva is the outer part of the female reproductive system. ItТs also called the external genitalia. The vulva includes the mons pubis. This is the rounded area in front of the pubic bones at the lower part of the abdomen, that becomes covered with hair at puberty.
The vulva plural: vulvas or vulvae; derived from Latin for wrapper or covering consists of the external female sex organs. The vulva includes the mons pubis or mons venerislabia majoralabia how expensive of a house can i afford to buyclitorisvestibular bulbsvulval vestibuleurinary meatuswhat does swag mean in the dictionary vaginal how to find postal zip codehymenand Bartholin's and Skene's vestibular glands.
The urinary meatus is also included as it opens into the vulval vestibule. Other features of the vulva include the pudendal cleft, sebaceous glandsthe urogenital triangle anterior part of the perineumand pubic hair.
The vulva includes the entrance to the vaginawhich leads to the uterusand provides a double layer of protection for this by the folds of the outer and inner labia. Pelvic floor muscles support the structures of the vulva.
Other muscles of the urogenital triangle also give support. Blood supply to the vulva comes from the three pudendal arteries. The internal pudendal veins give drainage. Afferent lymph vessels carry lymph away from the vulva to the inguinal lymph nodes. The nerves that supply the vulva are the pudendal nerveperineal nerveilioinguinal nerve and their branches. Blood and nerve supply to the vulva contribute to the stages of sexual arousal that are helpful in the reproduction process.
Following the development of the vulva, changes take place at birth, childhoodpubertymenopause and post-menopause. There is a great deal of variation in the appearance of the vulva, particularly in relation to the labia minora. The vulva can be affected by many disorders which may often result in irritation. Vulvovaginal health measures can prevent many of these. Other disorders include a number of infections and cancers.
There are several vulval restorative surgeries known as genitoplastiesand some of these are also used as cosmetic surgery procedures. Different cultures have held different views of the vulva. Some ancient religions and societies have worshipped the vulva what is best antihistamine for allergies revered the female as a goddess.
Major traditions in Hinduism continue this. In western societies there has been a largely negative how to run sql in access typified by the medical terminology of pudenda membrameaning parts to be ashamed of.
There has been an artistic reaction to this in various attempts to bring about a more positive and natural outlook, such as work from British, American, and Japanese artists. While the vagina is a separate part of the anatomy, it has often been used synonymously with vulva. The main structures of the vulva are: the mons pubisthe labia majora and labia minorathe external parts of the clitoris Ч the clitoral hood and the glanshow to put picture in locket urinary meatusthe vaginal opening and hymenand Bartholin's and Skene's vestibular glands.
The mons pubis is the soft mound of fatty tissue at the front of the vulva, in the pubic region covering the pubic bone. After puberty, the clitoral hood and the labia minora can protrude into the pudendal cleft in a variable degree.
The labia majora and the labia minora cover the vulval vestibule. They contain and protect the other structures of the vulva. The grooves between the labia majora and labia minora are called the interlabial sulcior interlabial folds. They have more color than the labia majora  and contain numerous sebaceous glands.
The labia minora meet again at the front of the vulva to form the clitoral hood, also known as the prepuce. The visible portion of the clitoris is the clitoral glans. Typically, this is roughly the size and shape of a peaand can vary in size from about 6 mm to 25 mm. There is a great deal of variation in the appearance of female genitals. Though called the smaller lips they can often be of considerable size and may protrude outside the vagina or labia majora.
The casts taken from a large and varied group of women showed clearly that there is much variation. The area between the labia minora where the vaginal opening and the urinary meatus are located is called the vulval vestibuleor vestibule of the vagina.
The urinary meatus is below the clitoris and just in front of the vaginal opening which is near to the perineum. The term introitus is more technically correct than "opening", since the vagina is usually collapsed, with the opening closed.
The introitus is sometimes partly covered by a membrane called the hymen. The hymen will usually rupture during the first episode of vigorous sex, and the blood produced by this rupture has been seen to signify virginity. However, the hymen may also rupture spontaneously during exercise or be stretched by normal activities such as the use of tampons and menstrual cupsor be so minor as to be unnoticeable, or be absent.
These glands secrete mucus and a vaginal and vulval lubricant. They are homologues of the male prostate gland and are also referred to as the female prostate. Pelvic how to do bank reconciliation statement in tally muscles what is the vulvar region to support the vulvar structures. The voluntary, pubococcygeus musclepart of the levator ani muscle partially constricts the vaginal opening.
The tissues of the vulva are highly vascularised and blood supply is provided by the three pudendal arteries. The ilioinguinal nerve originates from the first lumbar nerve and gives branches that include the anterior labial nerves which supply the skin of the mons pubis and the labia majora. The point where the nerve circles the ischial spine is the location where a pudendal block of local anesthetic can be administered to inhibit sensation to the vulva.
The deep branch of the perineal nerve supplies the muscles of the perineum and a branch of this supplies the bulb of the vestibule. In week three of the development of the embryomesenchyme cells from the primitive streak migrate around the cloacal membrane.
This division creates two areas one surrounded by the urethral folds and the other by the anal folds. At the same time a pair of swellings on either side of the urethral folds known as the genital swellings develop into the labioscrotal swellings. At this time the sexes still cannot be distinguished. The uterovaginal canal or genital canal, forms in the third month of the development of the urogenital system. The lower part of the canal is blocked off by a plate of tissue, the vaginal plate.
This tissue develops and lengthens during the third to fifth months and the lower part of the vaginal canal is formed by a process of desquamation or cell shedding. The end of the vaginal canal is blocked off by an endodermal membrane which separates the opening from the vestibule. In the fifth month the membrane degenerates but leaves a remnant called the hymen. Organs in the male and female with a shared common ancestry are said to be homologous. The newborn 's vulva may be swollen or enlarged as a result of having been exposed, via the placentato her mother's increased levels of hormones.
This condition is known as labial fusion and is rarely found after puberty when oestrogen production has increased. Puberty is the onset of the ability to reproduce, and takes place over two to three years, producing a number of changes. Pubic hair is much coarser than other body hair, and is considered a secondary sex characteristic. Premature pubarche may sometimes indicate a later metabolic - endocrine disorder seen at adolescence. The disorder sometimes known as a polyendocrine disorder is marked by elevated levels of androgeninsulinand lipidsand may originate in the fetus.
Instead of being seen as a normal variant it is proposed that premature pubarche may be seen as a marker for these later endocrine disorders. Apocrine sweat glands secrete sweat into the pubic hair follicles. This is broken down by bacteria on the skin and produces an odor,  which some consider to act as an attractant sex pheromone. This contributes to the maturation of the vulva with increases in the size of the mons pubis, and the labia majora and the enlargement of the labia minora.
In pregnancy the vulva and vagina take on a bluish colouring due to venous congestion. This appears between the eighth and twelfth week and continues to darken as the pregnancy continues. The vaginal opening and the vagina are also enlarged. During menopausehormone levels decrease, which causes changes in the vulva known as vulvovaginal atrophy. This condition has been renamed by some bodies as the genitourinary syndrome of menopause as a more comprehensive term.
The vulva has a major role to play in the reproductive system. It provides entry to, and protection for the uterus, and the right conditions in terms of warmth and moisture that aids in its sexual and reproductive functions. The external organs of the vulva are richly innervated and provide pleasure when properly stimulated. The mons pubis provides cushioning against the pubic bone during how to make slime videos. A number of different secretions are associated with the vulva, what is schizandra berry good for urine from the urethral openingsweat from the apocrine glandsmenses leaving from the vaginasebum from the sebaceous glandsalkaline fluid from the Bartholin's glandsmucus from the Skene's glandsvaginal lubrication from the vaginal wall and smegma.
It can cause discomfort during sexual activity as it can cause the clitoral glans to stick to the hood, and is easily removed by bathing.
Their fatty acid composition, and consequently their odor changes in relation to the stages of the menstrual cycle. The clitoris and the labia minora are both erogenous areas in the vulva. Local stimulation can involve the clitoris, vagina and other perineal regions.
The clitoris is the human female's most sensitive erogenous zone and generally the primary anatomical source of human female sexual pleasure. Stimulation to orgasm is optimally achieved by a massaging sensation. Sexual arousal results in a number of physical changes in the vulva. During arousal vaginal lubrication increases. Vulva tissue is highly vascularised what is the vulvar region arterioles dilate in response to sexual arousal and the smaller veins will compress after arousal,   so that the clitoris and labia minora increase in size.
The clitoris becomes increasingly erectand the glans moves towards the pubic bonebecoming concealed by the hood. The labia minora increase considerably in thickness. The labia minora sometimes change considerably in color, going from pink to red in lighter skinned women who have not borne a child, or red to dark red in those that have. Immediately prior to an orgasmthe clitoris becomes exceptionally engorged, causing the glans to appear to retract into the clitoral hood.
Rhythmic muscle contractions occur in the outer third of the vagina, as well as the uterus and anus. Contractions become less intense and more randomly spaced as the orgasm continues. The number of contractions that accompany what is the vulvar region orgasm vary depending on its intensity. An orgasm may be accompanied by female ejaculationcausing liquid from either the Skene's gland or bladder to be expelled through the urethra. The pooled blood begins to dissipate, although at a much slower rate if an orgasm has not occurred.
Aug 31, †Ј The vulva (Latin for womb or covering) consists of several layers that cover and protect the sexual organs and urinary opening. The fleshy outer lips of the vulva Ч the labia majora Ч are covered with pubic hair and contain fat that helps cushion the area. The vagina leads from the uterus to the outside of the body. Vestibule: The tissue surrounding the opening of the vagina. Vulva: The external female genital area. Jun 07, †Ј The vulva is the tissue around the opening to the vagina. It includes the outer folds of skin, called the labia majora, and the inner folds, called the labia minora.
The external female genital area is called the vulva. The outer folds of skin are called the labia majora and the inner folds are called the labia minora. If you see changes on the skin of the vulva, or if you have itching, burning, or pain, contact your gynecologist or other health care professional.
Your health care professional may examine you, ask you questions about the pain and your daily routine, and take samples of vaginal discharge for testing. In some cases, a biopsy is needed to confirm diagnosis of a disease. Some of the skin disorders that affect the vulva include folliculitis, contact dermatitis, Bartholin gland cysts, lichen simplex chronicus, lichen sclerosus, and lichen planus.
Folliculitis appears as small, red, and sometimes painful bumps caused by bacteria that infect a hair follicle. It can occur on the labia majora. This can happen because of shaving, waxing, or even friction. Folliculitis often goes away by itself. Attention to hygiene, wearing loose clothing, and warm compresses applied to the area can help speed up the healing process.
If the bumps do not go away or they get bigger, see your gynecologist or other health care professional. You may need additional treatment. Contact dermatitis is caused by irritation of the skin by things such as soaps, fabrics, or perfumes. Signs and symptoms can include extreme itching, rawness, stinging, burning, and pain. Treatment involves avoidance of the source of irritation and stopping the itching so that the skin can heal.
Ice packs or cold compresses can reduce irritation. A thin layer of plain petroleum jelly can be applied to protect the skin. Medication may be needed for severe cases. The Bartholin glands are located under the skin on either side of the opening of the vagina.
They release a fluid that helps with lubrication during sexual intercourse. If the Bartholin glands become blocked, a cyst can form, causing a swollen bump near the opening of the vagina.
Bartholin gland cysts usually are not painful unless they become infected. If this occurs, an abscess can form. If your cyst is not causing pain, it can be treated at home by sitting in a warm, shallow bath or by applying a warm compress.
Lichen simplex chronicus may be a result of contact dermatitis or other skin disorder that has been present for a long time. These plaques cause intense itching that may interfere with sleep.
Steroid creams often are used for this purpose. The underlying condition should be treated as well. Lichen sclerosus is a skin disorder that can cause itching, burning, pain during sex, and tears in the skin.
The vulvar skin may appear thin, white, and crinkled. White bumps may be present with dark purple coloring. A steroid cream is used to treat lichen sclerosus. Lichen planus is a skin disorder that most commonly occurs on the mucous membranes of the mouth. Occasionally, it also affects the skin of the genitals. Itching, soreness, burning, and abnormal discharge may occur. The appearance of lichen planus is varied. There may be white streaks on the vulvar skin, or the entire surface may be white.
There may be bumps that are dark pink in color. Treatment of lichen planus may include medicated creams or ointments, vaginal tablets, prescription pills, or injections. This condition is difficult to treat and usually involves long-term treatment and follow-up. Vulvodynia may cause different types of pain. This pain is often described as burning, stinging, irritation, and rawness. Other words that may be used include aching, soreness, throbbing, and swelling. Pain may be felt over the entire vulva or only in one place, such as the clitoris or vestibule.
Symptoms of vulvodynia may be constant or they may come and go. Symptoms can start and stop without warning, or they may occur only when the area is touched. Inserting a tampon, having sex, or wearing snug underwear can be triggers for some women. A variety of methods are used to treat vulvodynia, including self-care measures, medications, dietary changes, biofeedback training, physical therapy, sexual counseling, or surgery.
Genitourinary syndrome of menopause GSM is a group of signs and symptoms caused by a decrease in estrogen and other sex hormones.
This decline happens during perimenopause and menopause. Symptoms can include vaginal dryness, pain with sex, bladder problems, frequent urinary tract infections UTIs , burning, itching, and irritation. Some women also may have pain during sexual intercourse.
The vulva can become more sensitive to irritants. Infections may occur more easily. There are several treatments for GSM. Vaginal moisturizers and lubricants can help relieve vaginal dryness and painful sexual intercourse. You can buy these without a prescription. Estrogen therapy comes as a vaginal cream, ring, or tablet.
You need a prescription for this therapy. Selective estrogen receptor modulators SERMs are drugs that stimulate certain tissues that respond to estrogen while not stimulating other tissues that respond to estrogen. One SERM has been approved to treat painful intercourse in postmenopausal women. If you are interested in SERMs, talk with your gynecologist about their risks and benefits.
Vulvar intraepithelial neoplasia VIN is the presence of abnormal vulvar cells that are not yet cancer. Signs and symptoms include itching, burning, or abnormal skin that may be bumpy, smooth, or a different color like white, brown, or red. VIN should be treated to prevent the development of cancer.
VIN can be treated with a cream that is applied to the skin, laser treatment, or surgery. Vulvar cancer can be caused by infection with HPV. Other forms of cancer that can affect the vulva include melanoma skin cancer or Paget disease. Paget disease of the vulva may be a sign of cancer in another area of the body, such as the breast or colon.
Signs and symptoms may include itching, burning, inflammation , or pain. Other symptoms of cancer include a lump or sore on the vulva, changes in the skin color, or a bump in the groin. The type of treatment depends on the stage of cancer. Surgery often is needed to remove all cancerous tissue. Radiation therapy and chemotherapy also may be needed in addition to surgery. There are a number of disorders that may affect the vulva. Crohn disease is a long-term disease of the digestive system.
It can cause inflammation, swelling, sores, or bumps on the vulva. Bartholin Glands: Two glands located on either side of the vaginal opening that make a fluid during sexual activity. Biopsy: A minor surgical procedure to remove a small piece of tissue. This tissue is examined under a microscope in a laboratory. Herpes causes painful, highly infectious sores on or around the vulva and penis. Genitourinary Syndrome of Menopause GSM : A collection of signs and symptoms caused by a decrease in estrogen and other sex hormones.
Signs and symptoms can include vaginal dryness, pain with sex, bladder symptoms, frequent urinary tract infections UTIs , burning, itching, and irritation. Menopause is confirmed after 1 year of no periods. Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulators SERMs : Drugs that stimulate certain tissues that respond to estrogen while not stimulating other tissues that respond to estrogen.
Urinary Tract Infection UTI : An infection in any part of the urinary system, including the kidneys, bladder, or urethra.
Vagina: A tube-like structure surrounded by muscles. The vagina leads from the uterus to the outside of the body. Vulvodynia: Pain in the vulva that does not go away or keeps coming back and does not have a specific cause. Copyright by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.
All rights reserved. Read copyright and permissions information. This information is designed as an educational aid for the public. It offers current information and opinions related to women's health.
It is not intended as a statement of the standard of care. It does not explain all of the proper treatments or methods of care. It is not a substitute for the advice of a physician. Cancer is the growth of abnormal cells.
<- What are the best sausage casings - How to sing rap music->