Vulvar Vaginas: What are they?
A vulva is a female genitalia made up of two parts; the labia majora (the outer lips) and the labia minora (the inner lips). The labia majora and minora are connected with each other through a thin membrane called the hymen. The hymen is usually tight, but it may be torn during sexual activity or childbirth. If the hymen is torn, then a woman cannot have vaginal penetration without protection such as a male’s hand or a glass rod. A woman may also experience pain when having penetrative sexual contact with another person.
The labia majora and minora are covered by pubic hair which grows from the base of the clitoris all the way to the bottom of her genitals. Pubic hair contains sebaceous glands which produce oil. These oils lubricate the skin and prevent friction.
What causes them?
There are many reasons why women develop vulvar varicosities. Some of these include:
Genital trauma before birth – Some mothers suffer from injuries during childbirth which cause their vaginas to become irritated, red and swollen. Sometimes these wounds bleed internally causing internal tears in the vaginal walls.
Hereditary factors – A woman is more likely to suffer from genital varicosities if her mother, grandmother or aunt also had the condition. Sometimes, these conditions are caused by damaged blood vessels during birth or an illness which affected a female family member at some point in their lives.
Pregnancy-related factors – During pregnancy, women go through many changes which may result in the development of medical problems such as hemorrhoids, varicoces and other skin conditions.
What are the symptoms?
Itching, burning, pain and bleeding are some of the most obvious symptoms of genital varicosity. Other symptoms include:
Blood stains on underwear or dark brown markings on outer skin around the genital area.
Skin ulcerations, sores, rashes or warts on the skin near the genitalia.
How are they diagnosed?
In order to identify genital varicosities, a doctor needs to perform a physical examination. He or she will ask you for details about your medical history and take a close look at the area around your genitalia. They may also use a magnifying tool called a colposcope to get a closer view of the affected skin.
How are they treated?
Treatments vary depending on the cause of your genital varicosities. For instance, if you are suffering from a skin condition such as lichen sclerosis, your doctor may recommend steroid creams to soothe the pain and reduce itching. If you suffer from internal tears, your physician may recommend surgery to repair any tears or bleeding. Sclerotherapy is a common treatment for internal and external hemorrhoids. During this process, a doctor injects a chemical irritant into your hemorrhoid which causes it to shrink in size and eventually die. Doctors call this process “chemical coagulation.”
If you experience a great deal of pain or discomfort, your doctor may also recommend using topical anesthetics to numb the affected area and decrease your pain. Wearing cotton underwear to absorb sweat and avoiding unnecessary strain on your body are also effective ways of preventing genital varicosities from recurring.
How can I prevent them?
There are many things that can increase your risk of developing genital varicosities. If you know what these risk factors are, you can take steps to prevent them from occurring. Risk factors include:
Sources & references used in this article:
Vulvar varicosities: diagnosis, treatment, and prevention by SG Gavrilov – International Journal of Women’s Health, 2017 – ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
Endovascular intervention for pelvic congestion syndrome is justified for chronic pelvic pain relief and patient satisfaction by A Thors, MJ Haurani, TK Gregio, MR Go – Journal of Vascular Surgery …, 2014 – Elsevier
Vulvar varicosities: a review by AS Kim, LA Greyling, LS Davis – Dermatologic Surgery, 2017 – journals.lww.com
Interventions for varicosities and leg oedema in pregnancy by G Young, D Jewell… – Cochrane Database of …, 1998 – cochranelibrary.com
Pelvic venous incompetence: reflux patterns and treatment results by G Asciutto, KC Asciutto, A Mumme, B Geier – European Journal of Vascular …, 2009 – Elsevier
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