Vulvovaginal health

Vulvovaginal health

Vulvovaginal health is the health and sanitation of the human female vulva and vagina.


Problems affecting this area include:
*Infection with "Candida albicans" (candidiasis or "yeast infection")
*Bacterial vaginosis (BV) associated with the "Gardnerella", formerly called "nonspecific vaginitis"
*Cervical cancer (prevented by Pap smear screening)
*Urinary bladder infection, urinary tract infection (UTI), cystitis, Urethritis
*Various types of prolapse (where another pelvic organ protrudes into the vagina)
*Lichen Sclerosis (auto-immune disorder)
*Cancer of the vulva
*Genital warts

Vulvo-Perineal Localization of Dermatologic Disorders

Systemic disorders may be localized in the vulvo-perineal region.cite journal | author = Dominique Hamel-Teillac sara catanzaro| title = [ Vulvo-Perineal Localization of Dermatologic Disorders] , 2005. | journal =Clinical Obstetrics and Gynecology - Vulvo-Vaginal Disorders | volume = | issue = | pages = | year = 2005]

* In Langerhans cell histiocytosis, lesions initially are erythematous, purpuric papules and they then become scaly, crusted and sometimes confluent.
* In Kawasaki disease, an erythematous, desquamating perineal rash may occur in the second week of symptom onset, almost at the same time as palmoplantar desquamation.
* Acrodermatitis enteropathica is a biochemical disorder of zinc metabolism.

Tumoral and Hamartomatous Diseases of the Vulva

* Tumoral Diseases
* Hemangiomas and Vascular Dysplasia May Involve the Perineal Region
* Infantile Perianal Pyramidal Protrusioncite journal | author = Dominique Hamel-Teillac | title = [ Tumoral and Hamartomatous Diseases of the Vulva] , 2005. | journal =Clinical Obstetrics and Gynecology - Vulvo-Vaginal Disorders | volume = | issue = | pages = | year = 2005]

Diaper Dermatitis in Infancy

cite journal | author = Dominique Hamel-Teillac | title = [ Diaper Dermatitis in Infancy] , 2005. | journal =Clinical Obstetrics and Gynecology - Vulvo-Vaginal Disorders | volume = | issue = | pages = | year = 2005]

Infectious diseases

* Vaginitis
* Perineal dermatitis
* Viral infections
* Infestations with pinworms (rare), scabies and lice.cite journal | author = Dominique Hamel-Teillac | title = [ Infectious Diseases (Except Sexually Transmitted Diseases)] , 2005 | journal =Clinical Obstetrics and Gynecology - Vulvo-Vaginal Disorders | volume = | issue = | pages = | year = 2005]


The vulva and vagina have a "normal flora" of "friendly" microorganisms (including the "lactobacillus" which turns milk into yogurt) which help to keep the area healthy. When the normal balance is disturbed, an infection can result.


The generic term for infection of the vagina is "vaginitis". Symptoms may include an unusual or unpleasant discharge, itching, or pain during intercourse. But vaginal infections may also be present without any noticeable symptoms.

Maintaining health

The following measures are advisable for keeping the vulva and vagina healthy:

* Washing once a day or so with water but without soap, since soap disturbs the natural pH balance of the vagina. Other measures are seldom necessary or advisable. Two notable examples: so-called "feminine hygiene sprays" are unnecessary, may be generally harmful, and have been known to cause severe allergic reactions. Vaginal douching is generally not necessary and has been implicated in helping to cause bacterial vaginosis (BV) and candidiasis ("yeast infections").
* After using the toilet, wipe from the front toward the back to avoid introducing bacteria from the anal area into the vulva. Use non-perfumed, undyed toilet paper.
* Drink plenty of water and urinate frequently and as soon as possible when you feel the need, to help flush bacteria out of the urinary tract and avoid urinary tract infections. For the same reason, try to urinate before and after sex.
* Change out of a wet swimsuit or other wet clothes as soon as possible.
* Avoid fragrances, colors, and "deodorants" in products that contact the vulva/vagina: sanitary napkins, tampons, toilet paper. Some women who are sensitive to these substances should also avoid bubble baths and some fabric detergents and softeners.
* Avoid wearing leather trousers, tight jeans, panties made of nylon or other synthetic fabrics, or pantyhose without an all-cotton crotch (not cotton covered by nylon - cut out the nylon panel if necessary).
* Anything which has been in contact with the anal area (see anal sex) should be thoroughly washed with soap and water or a similar disinfectant before coming in contact with the vulva or vagina.
* Use condoms, practice safer sex, know your sex partners, ask sex partners to practice basic hygiene of their genitals. Use artificial lubrication during the intercourse if the amount naturally produced is not enough.
* Be careful with objects inserted inside the vagina. Improper insertion of objects into any body opening can cause da

Women who are unable to walk are more likely to have infections. The problem can be prevented according to above-mentioned and following measures:
* Wash crotch and rectal areas (with a soap-substitute if desired) and large amount of warm running water, every morning and evening. The disabled person can sit on a shower chair with an open seat or on a toilet. Use a shower head or water container to wash more directly.
* Use towel to dry.
* DO NOT use talcum/body powder, if desired use corn starch powder (corn-flour) on the skin of the genital area to absorb perspiration.
* Avoid sitting on plastic or synthetic materials for extended lengths of time.
* Wear loose underpants and change if soilage or wetness occurs.


ee also

* Sexually transmitted diseases
* Pelvic inflammatory disease
* Obstetrics and Gynecology
* Reproductive system disease
* Reproductive health

External links

* [ Vaginitis/Vaginal infection information from the National Institute of Allergies and Infections]
* Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology - [ Vulvo-Vaginal Disorders] - Clinical Obstetrics and Gynecology
* [ Anti-infection health tips]
* [ Female Sexual Health 101] - by noted sex activist and educator Heather Corinna
* [ How to Prepare for Your First Gynecologist's Visit] by Heather Corinna

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