The vagina is a partially collapsed tubular structure that extends from the vestibule of the vulva to the uterus. The anterior and posterior walls are in contact with each other except at the apex where the vagina surrounds the ectocervix and vault-like recesses, called the fornices, separate the vagina and cervix. The posterior fornix is deeper than the anterior. The base of the bladder and urethra are anterior to the vagina while the rectum is posterior to it. The vagina is lined by non-keratizing stratified squamous epithelium, which is hormone-responsive. Estrogens stimulate the proliferation and maturation of the epithelium with accumulation of glycogen in the cells. Progestogens, however, inhibit maturation of the epithelium.
Vagina Conditions Vaginitis: Inflammation of the vagina, commonly from a yeast infection or bacterial overgrowth. Itching, discharge, and change of odor are typical symptoms.Vaginitis Vaginismus: Involuntary spasm of the vaginal muscles during sexual intercourse. Emotional distress about sex, or medical conditions, can be responsible.Vaginismus Vaginal warts: Genital warts may affect the vulva or the vagina. Treatments can remove vaginal warts, which are caused by human papillomavirus (HPV).Vaginal warts Trichomoniasis: Infection of the vagina by a microscopic parasite called trichomonas. Trichomoniasis is transmitted by sex and is easily curable.Trichomoniasis Bacterial vaginosis (BV): A disruption in the balance of healthy bacteria in the vagina, often causing odor and discharge. Douching, or sex with a new partner, seem to cause BV.Bacterial vaginosis Herpes simplex virus (HSV): The herpes virus can infect the vagina, causing small, painful, recurring blisters and ulcers. Having no noticeable symptoms is also common.Herpes simplex virus Gonorrhea: This sexually transmitted bacterial infection most often infects the cervix. Half the time, there are no symptoms, but vaginal discharge and itching may occur.Gonorrhea Chlamydia: The bacterium Chlamydia trachomatis causes this sexually transmitted infection. Only half of women will have symptoms, which may include vaginal discharge or pain in the vagina or abdomen.Chlamydia Vaginal cancer: Cancer of the vagina is extremely rare. Abnormal vaginal bleeding or discharge are symptoms.Vaginal cancer Vaginal prolapse: Due to weakened pelvic muscles (usually from childbirth), the rectum, uterus or bladder pushes on the vagina. In severe cases, the vagina protrudes out of the body.Vaginal prolapse
The vagina is an elastic, muscular canal with a soft, flexible lining that provides lubrication and sensation. The vagina connects the uterus to the outside world. The vulva and labia form the entrance, and the cervix of the uterus protrudes into the vagina, forming the interior end. The vagina receives the penis during sexual intercourse and also serves as a conduit for menstrual flow from the uterus. During childbirth, the baby passes through the vagina (birth canal). The hymen is a thin membrane of tissue that surrounds and narrows the vaginal opening. It may be torn or ruptured by sexual activity or by exercise.
Vagina Tests Pelvic examination: Using a speculum, a doctor can examine the vulva, vagina, and cervix. The strength of the pelvic muscles can also be tested.Pelvic examination Papanicolaou smear (Pap smear): During a pelvic exam, the examiner swabs the cervix and vagina. Pap smears screen for cervical or vaginal cancer.Pap smear Bacterial culture: A swab of the cervix and vagina from a pelvic exam may be cultured in a lab. This can identify bacterial infections. Colposcopy: A microscope is used during a pelvic exam to examine closely the vulva, vagina, and cervix. Colposcopy can help identify cancer or other problems.Colposcopy Vaginal biopsy: In the rare case of a suspicious growth in the vagina, a small piece of tissue (biopsy) may be sent to check for cancer.biopsy
VAGINA I.Vaginal intraepithelial neoplasia (VAIN) and Squamous cell carcinoma A.Much less common than cervical intraepithelial neoplasia and carcinoma. B.Generally associated with HPV C.Frequent association with cervical and/or vulvar HPV, intraepithelial neoplasia, and cancer. II.Clear cell adenocarcinoma-association of many (but not all) with DES in utero. A.Daughters of women given DES in pregnancy may have vaginal adenosis (considered a precursor lesion)-glandular epithelium in the vagina. B.A small percentage of these patients develop clear cell adenocarcinoma of the vagina. III.Embryonal rhabdomyosarcoma A.Pediatric malignancy (sarcoma arising from primitive skeletal muscle). B.Called "sarcoma botryoides" because of gross morphology: grape-like clusters projecting out of vagina. C.Characteristic cell is the rhabdomyoblast with striations. D.Conservative surgery and chemotherapy