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Encyclopedia > Vulva

The vulva (from Latin, vulva, plural vulvae or vulvas; see etymology) is the region of the external genital organs of the female, including the labia majora, mons pubis, labia minora, clitoris, bulb of the vestibule, vestibule of the vagina, greater and lesser vestibular glands, and vaginal orifice.[1] For other uses, see Latins and Latin (disambiguation). ... The vulva (from Latin, vulva, plural vulvae or vulvas; see etymology) is the region of the external genital organs of the female, including the labia majora, mons pubis, labia minora, clitoris, bulb of the vestibule, vestibule of the vagina, greater and lesser vestibular glands, and vaginal orifice. ... A sex organ, or primary sexual characteristic, as narrowly defined, is any of the anatomical parts of the body which are involved in sexual reproduction and constitute the reproductive system in a complex organism; in mammals, these are: Female: Bartholins glands, cervix, clitoris, Fallopian tubes, labia, ovaries, Skenes... For other uses, see Female (disambiguation). ... Parts of a vulva The external genital organs of the female are collectively known as the vulva (also sometimes called the pudenda). ... In human anatomy or in mammals in general, the mons pubis (Latin, pubic mound), also known simply as the mons, is the soft mound of flesh present in women just above the genitals, raised above the surrounding area due to a pad of fat lying just beneath it which protects... The labia minora (singular: labium minus) or nymphae[1] are two longitudinal cutaneous folds, that normally vary widely in size from woman to woman. ... The clitoris is a sexual organ that is present only in female mammals. ... Vestibule can have the following meanings, each primarily based upon a common origin, from early 17th century French, derived from Latin vestibulum ‘entrance court. ... The Vulval vestibule (or Vulvar vestibule) is a part of the vulva between the labia minora that the urethra and the vagina open into. ... The vaginal orifice is a median slit below and behind the opening of the urethra; its size varies inversely with that of the hymen. ...


The vulva has many major and minor anatomical structures. Its development occurs during several phases, chiefly the fetal and pubertal periods. True door of the human matrix, it protects its opening by a "double door": the labia majora and the labia minora as well as a vulval vestibule, and a normal microbial flora that flows from the inside out. Normal external cleanliness is usually sufficient to assure good vulvovaginal health, without recourse to any internal cleansing. The vulva is more susceptible to infections than the penis. Look up matrix in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Parts of a vulva The external genital organs of the female are collectively known as the vulva (also sometimes called the pudenda). ... The labia minora (singular: labium minus) or nymphae[1] are two longitudinal cutaneous folds, that normally vary widely in size from woman to woman. ... Vulvovaginal health is the health and sanitation of the human female vulva and vagina. ...


These external body structures also have a sexual function; they are richly innervated and provide pleasure during sexual intercourse when properly stimulated. Since the origin of human society, in various branches of art the vulva has been depicted as the organ that has the power both "to give life" (i.e., often confused and associated with the vagina in pre-historic periods and antiquity, decreasingly as science has progressed), and to give sexual pleasure to humankind.[2] It has been suggested that Duration of sexual intercourse be merged into this article or section. ... Sexual arousal is the process and state of an animal being ready for sexual intercourse. ...


In common speech, the term vagina is often used to refer to the vulva or female genitals generally, although, strictly speaking, the vagina is a specific internal structure, whereas the vulva is the exterior genitalia.[3] The vagina, (from Latin, literally sheath or scabbard ) is the tubular tract leading from the uterus to the exterior of the body in female placental mammals and marsupials, or to the cloaca in female birds, monotremes, and some reptiles. ...


This article deals with the human vulva, although the structures are similar for other mammals. Orders Subclass Monotremata Monotremata Subclass Marsupialia Didelphimorphia Paucituberculata Microbiotheria Dasyuromorphia Peramelemorphia Notoryctemorphia Diprotodontia Subclass Placentalia Xenarthra Dermoptera Desmostylia Scandentia Primates Rodentia Lagomorpha Insectivora Chiroptera Pholidota Carnivora Perissodactyla Artiodactyla Cetacea Afrosoricida Macroscelidea Tubulidentata Hyracoidea Proboscidea Sirenia The mammals are the class of vertebrate animals primarily characterized by the presence of mammary...

Vulva
Internal female genitalia
Latin from Middle Latin volva or vulva, probably from Latin volvere'
Gray's subject #270 1264
Artery Internal pudendal artery
Vein Internal pudendal veins
Nerve Pudendal nerve
Lymph Superficial inguinal lymph nodes
Precursor Genital tubercle, Urogenital folds
MeSH Vulva
Dorlands/Elsevier v_10/12862274

Contents

Image File history File links Illu_repdt_female. ... Image File history File links Illu_female_genitalia. ... For other uses, see Latins and Latin (disambiguation). ... Medieval Latin refers to the Latin used in the Middle Ages, primarily as a medium of scholarly exchange and as the liturgical language of the medieval Roman Catholic Church. ... For other uses, see Latins and Latin (disambiguation). ... Look up roll in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Section of an artery For other uses, see Artery (disambiguation). ... Internal pudendal artery is the terminal branch of the anterior trunk of the internal iliac artery which supplies the external genitalia. ... In the circulatory system, a vein is a blood vessel that carries blood toward the heart. ... The Internal Pudendal Veins (internal pudic veins) are the venæ comitantes of the internal pudendal artery. ... For other uses, see Nerve (disambiguation). ... The pudendal nerve is responsible for orgasm, urination, and defecation in both sexes. ... In mammals including humans, the lymphatic vessels (or lymphatics) are a network of thin tubes that branch, like blood vessels, into tissues throughout the body. ... The superficial inguinal lymph nodes form a chain immediately below the inguinal ligament. ... This article or section is in need of attention from an expert on the subject. ... A genital tubercle is a body of tissue which forms in the ventral, caudal region of mammalian embryos of both sexes, and eventually develops into a phallus. ... The urogenital folds are an embryological structure which give rise to a portion of the external genitalia. ... Medical Subject Headings (MeSH) is a huge controlled vocabulary (or metadata system) for the purpose of indexing journal articles and books in the life sciences. ... Elseviers logo. ...

Linguistics

Etymology

The word "vulva" was taken from Middle Latin volva or vulva "womb, female genitals", probably from Latin volvere "to roll" (lit. "wrapper"). Similar to Sanskrit ulva "womb".[4] Medieval Latin refers to the Latin used in the Middle Ages, primarily as a medium of scholarly exchange and as the liturgical language of the medieval Roman Catholic Church. ... For other uses, see Latins and Latin (disambiguation). ... Sanskrit ( , for short ) is a classical language of India, a liturgical language of Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism, and Jainism, and one of the 23 official languages of India. ...


An alternate term, also from Latin, is genitalia feminina externa.[5] For other uses, see Latins and Latin (disambiguation). ...


Slang

As with nearly any aspect of the human body that is involved in sexual or excretory functions, there are many slang words for the vulva.[6] Excretion is the biological process by which an organism separates waste products from its body. ...


Sexual homology

Main article: Sexual homology

Most male and female sex organs originate from the same tissues in the development of a foetus. The vulva is no different. The anatomy of the vulva is related to the anatomy of the male genitalia by a shared developmental biology. Organs that have a common developmental ancestry in this way are said to be homologous. The List of homologues of the human reproductive system shows how indifferent embryonic organs differentiate into the respective sex organs in males and females. ... Views of a Foetus in the Womb, Leonardo da Vinci, ca. ... In biology, homology is any similarity between structures that is due to their shared ancestry. ...


The clitoral glans is homologous to the glans penis in males, and the clitoral body and the clitoral crura are homologous to the corpora cavernosa of the penis. The labia majora, labia minora and clitoral hood are homologous to the scrotum, shaft skin of the penis, and the foreskin, respectively. The vestibular bulbs beneath the skin of the labia minora are homologous to the corpus spongiosum, the tissue of the penis surrounding the urethra. The Bartholin's glands are homologous to Cowper's glands in males. The glans penis (or simply glans) is the sensitive tip of the penis. ... The clitoral body is an internal portion of the clitoris. ... The clitoral crura are an internal portion of the clitoris. ... A corpus cavernosum is one of a pair of a sponge-like regions of erectile tissue which contain most of the blood in the male penis during erection. ... The penis (plural penises, penes) is an external male sexual organ. ... In some male mammals the scrotum is a protuberance of skin and muscle containing the testicles. ... The penis (plural penises, penes) is an external male sexual organ. ... The foreskin or prepuce (a technically broader term that also includes the clitoral hood, the homologous structure in women) is a retractable double-layered fold of skin and mucous membrane that covers the glans penis and protects the urinary meatus when the penis. ... The Vestibular Bulbs, also known as the Clitoral Bulbs, are an internal part of the Clitoris next to the clitoral body, clitoral crura, urethra, urethral sponge, and vagina. ... Corpus spongiosum (Plural: Corpora Spongiosa) is the mass of spongy tissue surrounding the male urethra within the penis. ... The Bartholins glands (also called Bartholin glands or greater vestibular glands) are two glands located slightly below and to the left and right of the opening of the vagina in women. ... Male Anatomy In the anatomy of the male human body, the bulbourethral glands (or Cowpers glands) are two small, rounded, and somewhat lobulated bodies, of a yellow color, about the size of peas, placed behind and lateral to the membranous portion of the urethra, between the two layers of...


Structures

Image showing stretched, shaved vulva with surrounding.

In human beings, major structures of the vulva are:[7] Human beings are defined variously in biological, spiritual, and cultural terms, or in combinations thereof. ...

Other structures: In human anatomy or in mammals in general, the mons pubis (Latin, pubic mound), also known simply as the mons, is the soft mound of flesh present in women just above the genitals, raised above the surrounding area due to a pad of fat lying just beneath it which protects... Parts of a vulva The external genital organs of the female are collectively known as the vulva (also sometimes called the pudenda). ... The labia minora (singular: labium minus) or nymphae[1] are two longitudinal cutaneous folds, that normally vary widely in size from woman to woman. ... The clitoris is a sexual organ that is present only in female mammals. ... In a female human anatomy, the clitoral hood, (also called preputium clitoridis and clitoral prepuce), is a fold of skin that surrounds and protects the clitoral glans. ... The Vulval vestibule (or Vulvar vestibule) is a part of the vulva between the labia minora that the urethra and the vagina open into. ... In female human anatomy, the frenulum labiorum pudendi (aka. ... The urinary meatus is the external orifice of the urethra, from which urine is ejected during urination. ... The introitus is an entrance that goes into a canal or hollow organ. ... The vagina, (from Latin, literally sheath or scabbard ) is the tubular tract leading from the uterus to the exterior of the body in female placental mammals and marsupials, or to the cloaca in female birds, monotremes, and some reptiles. ... For the Greek god of marriage, see Hymenaios. ...


In human anatomy, the perineum, also called the taint, or gooch, is generally defined as the surface region in both males and females between the pubic symphysis and the coccyx. ... Schematic view of a hair follicle with sebaceous gland. ... The Bartholins glands (also called Bartholin glands or greater vestibular glands) are two glands located slightly below and to the left and right of the opening of the vagina in women. ... In human anatomy, the Skenes glands (also known as the lesser vestibular, periurethral glands, or paraurethral glands[1]) are glands located on the upper wall of the vagina, around the lower end of the urethra. ...

Image of shaved vulva from the outside.
Image of shaved vulva from the outside.

The soft mound at the front of the vulva is formed by fatty tissue covering the pubic bone, and is called is the mons pubis. The term mons pubis is Latin for "pubic mound", and is gender non-specific. In human females, the mons pubis is often referred to as the mons veneris, Latin for "mound of Venus" or "mound of love". The mons pubis separates into two folds of skin called the labia majora, literally "major (or large) lips". The cleft between the labia majora is called the pudendal cleft, or cleft of Venus, and it contains and protects the other, more delicate structures of the vulva. The labia majora meet again at a flat area between the pudendal cleft and the anus called the perineum. The colour of the outside skin of the labia majora is usually close to the overall skin colour of the individual, although there is considerable variation. The inside skin and mucus membrane are often pink or brownish. After the onset of puberty, the mons pubis and the labia majora become covered by pubic hair. This hair sometimes extends to the inner thighs and perineum, but the density, texture, and extent of pubic hair coverage varies considerably. The practice of cosmetic trimming and shaping the edge of the so-called "bikini line" is common, but a trend toward the severe reduction, or even complete removal, of pubic hair has gained popularity in recent years. Marble Venus of the Capitoline Venus type, Roman (British Museum) Venus was a major Roman goddess principally associated with love and beauty, the rough equivalent of the Greek goddess Aphrodite. ... The Cleft of Venus or pudendal cleft is the furrow at the base of the Mons veneris where it divides to form the labia majora. ... This article is about the bodily orifice. ... Pubic hair is hair in the frontal genital area, the crotch, and sometimes at the top of the inside of the legs; these areas form the pubic region. ...


The labia minora are two soft folds of skin within the labia majora. While labia minora translates as "minor (or small) lips", often the "minora" are of considerable size, and protrude outside the "majora". Much of the variation between vulvae lies in the significant variation in the size, shape, and color of the labia minora.


The clitoris is located at the front of the vulva, where the labia minora meet. The visible portion of the clitoris is the clitoral glans. Typically, the clitoral glans is roughly the size and shape of a pea, although it can be significantly larger or smaller. The clitoral glans is highly sensitive, containing as many nerve endings as the analogous organ in males, the glans penis. The point where the labia minora attach to the clitoris is called the frenulum clitoridis. A prepuce, the clitoral hood, normally covers and protects the clitoris, however in women with particularly large clitorises or small prepuces, the clitoris may be partially or wholly exposed at all times. Often the clitoral hood is only partially hidden inside of the pudendal cleft. The Clitoral Glans is an external portion of the clitoris. ... Binomial name L. Percentages are relative to US recommendations for adults. ... The glans penis (or simply glans) is the sensitive tip of the penis. ... The Frenulum clitoridis (also known as the Crus glandis clitoridis) is a frenulum that surrounds the clitoris. ... The prepuce is a retractable piece of skin which covers part of the genitals of primates and other mammals. ...


The area between the labia minora is called the vulval vestibule, and it contains the vaginal and urethral openings. The urethral opening (meatus) is located below the clitoris and just in front of the vagina. This is where urine passes from the bladder to the outside of the body. The Vulval vestibule (or Vulvar vestibule) is a part of the vulva between the labia minora that the urethra and the vagina open into. ... Male anatomy Female anatomy In anatomy, the urethra is a tube which connects the urinary bladder to the outside of the body. ... This article is about the urinary bladder. ...


The opening of the vagina is located at the bottom of the vulval vestibule, towards the perineum. The term introitus is more technically correct than "opening", since the vagina is collapsed, with the opening closed, unless something is inserted into it. The introitus is sometimes partly covered by a membrane called the hymen. The hymen will rupture during the first episode of vigorous sex, and the blood produced by this rupture is often used as a sign of virginity. However, the hymen may also rupture spontaneously during exercise, or be stretched by normal activities such as the use of tampons, or be so minor as to not be noticeable. In some rare cases, the hymen may completely cover the vaginal opening, requiring surgical separation. Slightly below and to the left and right of the vaginal opening are two Bartholin glands which produce a waxy, pheromone-containing substance, the purpose of which is not fully known. For the Greek god of marriage, see Hymenaios. ... Virgin redirects here. ... A tampon with an applicator. ... A Hymenotomy is a minor medical procedure involving the surgical removal or opening of the hymen. ... The Bartholins glands (also called Bartholin glands or greater vestibular glands) are two glands located slightly below and to the left and right of the opening of the vagina in women. ... Fanning honeybee exposes Nasonov gland (white-at tip of abdomen) releasing pheromone to entice swarm into an empty hive A pheromone (from Greek φέρω phero to bear + ‘ορμόνη hormone) is a chemical that triggers a natural behavioral response in another member of the same species. ...


The appearance of the vulva and the size of the various parts varies a great deal from one female to another, and it is common for the left and right sides to differ in appearance.


Development

Fetus

Genital tubercle at fourteen weeks.
Genital tubercle at fourteen weeks.

During the first eight weeks of life, both male and female fetuses have the same rudimentary reproductive and sexual organs, and maternal hormones control their development. Male and female organs begin to become distinct when the foetus is able to begin producing its own hormones, although visible determination of the sex is difficult until after the twelfth week. A genital tubercle is a body of tissue which forms in the ventral, caudal region of mammalian embryos of both sexes, and eventually develops into a phallus. ...


During the sixth week, the genital tubercle develops in front of the cloacal membrane. The tubercle contains a groove termed the urethral groove. The urogenital sinus (forerunner of the bladder) opens into this groove. On either side of the grove are the urogenital folds. Beside the tubercle are a pair of ridges called the labioscrotal swellings. A genital tubercle is a body of tissue which forms in the ventral, caudal region of mammalian embryos of both sexes, and eventually develops into a phallus. ... The region at the hind end of the embryo where the ectoderm and endoderm come into apposition and form is called the cloacal membrane. ... The urethral groove is a temporary linear indentation on the underside (ventral side) of the male penis during embryonic development. ... The urogenital sinus (also known as the persistent cloaca) is a part of the human body while it is an embryo. ... The urogenital folds are an embryological structure which give rise to a portion of the external genitalia. ... The labioscrotal folds (or labioscrotal swellings, or genital swellings) are paired structures in the human embryo that represent the final stage of development of the caudal end of the external genitals before sexual differentiation. ...


Beginning in the third month of development, the genital tubercle becomes the clitoris. The urogenital folds become the labia minora, and the labioscrotal swellings become the labia majora.


Childhood

At birth, the neonate's vulva (and breasts) may be swollen or enlarged as a result of having been exposed, via the placenta, to her mother's increased levels of hormones. The clitoris is proportionally larger than it is likely to be later in life. Within a short period of time as these hormones wear off, the vulva will shrink in size. A human infant The word Infant derives from the Latin in-fans, meaning unable to speak. ... For other uses, see Breast (disambiguation). ... The placenta (Latin for cake, referencing its appearance in humans) is an ephemeral organ present in placental vertebrates, such as eutherial mammals and sharks during gestation (pregnancy). ...


From one year of age until the onset of puberty, the vulva does not undergo any change in appearance, other than growing in proportion with the rest of the body.


Puberty

The onset of puberty produces a number of changes. The structures of the vulva become proportionately larger and may become more pronounced. Coloration may change and pubic hair develops, first on the labia majora, and later spreading to the mons pubis, and sometimes the inner thighs and perineum. Puberty refers to the process of physical changes by which a childs body becomes an adult body capable of reproduction. ...


In pre-adolescent girls, the vulva appears to be positioned further forward than in adults, showing a larger percentage of the labia majora and pudendal cleft when standing. During puberty the mons pubis enlarges, pushing the forward portion of the labia majora away from the pubic bone, and parallel to the ground (when standing). Variations in body fat levels affect the extent to which this occurs. In biochemistry, fat is a generic term for a class of lipids. ...


Childbirth

During childbirth, the vagina and vulva must stretch to accommodate the baby's head (approximately 9.5 cm or 3.7 in). This can result in tears in the vaginal opening, labia, and clitoris. An episiotomy (surgical pre-emptive cutting of the perineum) is sometimes performed to limit tearing, but its appropriateness as a routine procedure is under debate. Parturition redirects here. ... Medio-lateral episiotomy as baby crowns. ...


Some of the changes that occur during pregnancy may be permanent. This article is about human pregnancy in biological females. ...


Post-menopause

During menopause, hormone levels decrease, and along with them tissues sensitive to these hormones also decrease. The mons pubis, labia, and clitoris may reduce in size, although not usually to pre-puberty proportions. The word menopause literally means the permanent physiological, or natural, cessation of menstrual cycles, from the Greek roots meno (month) and pausis (a pause, a cessation). ...


Sexual arousal

Sexual arousal results in a number of physical changes in the vulva. Arousal may be broken up into four somewhat arbitrary phases: Excitement, Plateau, Orgasm, and Resolution. Image File history File links Size of this preview: 725 × 599 pixelsFull resolution (2854 × 2359 pixel, file size: 2. ... Image File history File links Size of this preview: 725 × 599 pixelsFull resolution (2854 × 2359 pixel, file size: 2. ... L’Origine du monde (The Origin of the World) is an oil on canvas painted by Gustave Courbet in 1866. ... Jean Désiré Gustave Courbet (10 June 1819 – 31 December 1877) was a French painter who led the Realist movement in 19th-century French painting. ... During the 1950s and 1960s, William H. Masters and Virginia E. Johnson conducted many important studies within the field of human sexuality. ... During the 1950s and 1960s, William H. Masters and Virginia E. Johnson conducted many important studies within the field of human sexuality. ...


Excitement

Vaginal lubrication begins first. This is caused as a result of the vasocongestion of the vaginal walls. Increased blood pooling there causes moisture to seep from the walls. These droplets collect together and flow out of the vagina, moistening the vulva. The labia majora flatten and spread apart, and the clitoris and labia minora increase in size. Vaginal lubrication is the naturally produced lubricating fluid that reduces friction during sexual intercourse. ... Vasocongestion is a term for the swelling of bodily tissues caused by increased vascular blood flow and a localized increase in blood pressure. ...


Unlike in men, where sexual excitement produces large and readily apparent changes, namely an erection, women are not necessarily aware that vaginal lubrication and blood engorgement of their vulva has occurred. This article is about human physiological erection. ...


Plateau

Increased vasocongestion in the vagina causes it to swell, decreasing the size of the vaginal opening by about 30%. The clitoris becomes increasingly erect, and the glans moves towards the pubic bone, becoming concealed by the hood. The labia minora increase considerably in thickness, approximately 2–3 times, causing them to spread apart, displaying the vaginal opening. The labia minora change considerably in color, (in Caucasians) going from pink to red in women who have not borne a child, or red to wine in those that have. Vasocongestion is a term for the swelling of bodily tissues caused by increased vascular blood flow and a localized increase in blood pressure. ...


A woman is not fully ready for vaginal intercourse until the plateau stage. The word intercourse refers to: Look up intercourse in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...


Orgasm

Immediately prior to orgasm, the clitoris becomes exceptionally engorged, causing the glans to appear to retract into the clitoral hood. This is thought to protect the sensitive glans during orgasm. However, there is some doubt that this is the case, since the same engorgement prior to orgasm occurs in the male homologous structure, the penis, the function of which is thought to be to extend the penis as close to the cervix as possible prior to ejaculation. An orgasm (sexual climax) is the conclusion of the plateau phase of the sexual response cycle, and may be experienced by both males and females. ...


Rhythmic muscle contractions occur in the outer third of the vagina, as well as the uterus and anus. They occur initially at a rate of about one every 0.8 seconds, becoming less intense and more randomly spaced as the orgasm continues. An orgasm may have as few as one or as many as 15 or more contractions, depending on intensity. Orgasm may be accompanied by female ejaculation, causing liquid from either the Skene's gland or bladder to be expelled through the urethra. A top-down view of skeletal muscle A muscle contraction (also known as a muscle twitch or simply twitch) occurs when a muscle fiber generates tension through the action of actin and myosin cross-bridge cycling. ... Female ejaculation (also known colloquially as squirting or gushing) refers to the expulsion of noticeable amounts of clear fluid by human females from the paraurethral ducts and/or urethra during orgasm. ... In human anatomy, the Skenes glands (also known as the lesser vestibular, periurethral glands, or paraurethral glands[1]) are glands located on the upper wall of the vagina, around the lower end of the urethra. ... This article is about the urinary bladder. ...


Immediately after orgasm the clitoris may be so sensitive that any stimulation is uncomfortable.


Resolution

The pooled blood begins to dissipate, although at a much slower rate if orgasm has not occurred. The vagina and vaginal opening return to their normal relaxed state, and the rest of the vulva returns to its normal size, position and color.


Fluids and odour

There are a number of different secretions associated with the vulva, including urine, sweat, menses, skin oils (sebum), Bartholin's and Skene's gland secretions, and vaginal wall secretions. These secretions contain a mix of chemicals, including pyridine, squalene, urea, acetic acid, lactic acid, complex alcohols, glycols, ketones, and aldehydes. A secretion associated with ovulation is known as "spinnbarkeit". This article is about the urine of animals generally. ... SWEAT is an OLN/TSN show hosted by Julie Zwillich that aired in 2003-2004. ... The menstrual cycle is the periodic change in a womans body that occurs every month between puberty and menopause and that relates to reproduction. ... The sebaceous glands are glands found in the skin of mammals. ... In human anatomy, the Skenes glands (also known as the lesser vestibular, periurethral glands, or paraurethral glands[1]) are glands located on the upper wall of the vagina, around the lower end of the urethra. ... Pyridine is a chemical compound with the formula C5H5N. It is a liquid with a distinctively putrid odour. ... Squalene is a natural organic compound originally obtained for commercial purposes primarily from shark liver oil, though there are botanic sources as well, including amaranth seed, rice bran, wheat germ, and olives. ... Urea is an organic compound with the chemical formula (NH2)2CO. Urea is also known as carbamide, especially in the recommended International Nonproprietary Names (rINN) in use in Europe. ... R-phrases , S-phrases , , , Flash point 43 °C Related Compounds Related carboxylic; acids Formic acid; Propionic acid; Butyric acid Related compounds acetamide; ethyl acetate; acetyl chloride; acetic anhydride; acetonitrile; acetaldehyde; ethanol; thioacetic acid; acetylcholine; acetylcholinesterase Supplementary data page Structure and properties n, εr, etc. ... For the production of milk by mammals, see Lactation. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Ethylene glycol (IUPAC name:ethane-1,2-diol) is a chemical compound widely used as an automotive antifreeze (coolant). ... A ketone is either the functional group characterized by a carbonyl group linked to two other carbon atoms or a compound that contains this functional group. ... An aldehyde is either a functional group consisting of a terminal carbonyl group, or a compound containing a terminal carbonyl group. ... Ovulation is the process in the menstrual cycle by which a mature ovarian follicle ruptures and discharges an ovum (also known as an oocyte, female gamete, or casually, an egg) that participates in reproduction. ... Spinnbarkeit is a medical term and refers to the stringy and stretchy quality of cervical mucus at the time just prior to ovulation. ...


Smegma

Smegma is a white substance formed from a combination of dead cells, skin oils, moisture and naturally occurring bacteria, that forms in mammalian genitalia. In females it collects around the clitoris and labial folds. Smegma, a transliteration of the Greek word σμήγμα for sebum, is a combination of exfoliated (shed) epithelial cells, transudated skin oils, and moisture, and can accumulate under the foreskin of males and within the vulva of females. ... Phyla Actinobacteria Aquificae Chlamydiae Bacteroidetes/Chlorobi Chloroflexi Chrysiogenetes Cyanobacteria Deferribacteres Deinococcus-Thermus Dictyoglomi Fibrobacteres/Acidobacteria Firmicutes Fusobacteria Gemmatimonadetes Lentisphaerae Nitrospirae Planctomycetes Proteobacteria Spirochaetes Thermodesulfobacteria Thermomicrobia Thermotogae Verrucomicrobia Bacteria (singular: bacterium) are unicellular microorganisms. ...


Aliphatic acids

Approximately one third of women produce aliphatic acids. These acids are a pungent class of chemicals which other primate species produce as sexual-olfactory signals. While there is some debate, researchers often refer to them as human pheromones. These acids are produced by natural bacteria resident on the skin. The acid content varies with the menstrual cycle, rising from one day after menstruation, and peaking mid-cycle, just before ovulation. In chemistry, non-aromatic and non-cyclic (acyclic) organic compounds are called aliphatic. ... Families 15, See classification A primate is any member of the biological order Primates, the group that contains all the species commonly related to the lemurs, monkeys, and apes, with the latter category including humans. ... Fanning honeybee exposes Nasonov gland (white-at tip of abdomen) releasing pheromone to entice swarm into an empty hive A pheromone is any chemical produced by a living organism that transmits a message to other members of the same species. ... Menstrual cycle In the female reproductive system, the menstrual cycle is a recurring cycle of physiologic changes that occurs in reproductive age females of several mammals, including human beings and other apes. ... Not to be confused with Mensuration. ... Ovulation is the process in the menstrual cycle by which a mature ovarian follicle ruptures and discharges an ovum (also known as an oocyte, female gamete, or casually, an egg) that participates in reproduction. ...


Disorders affecting the vulva

Gynaecology is the branch of medicine dealing with the diagnosis and treatment of the diseases and disorders associated with the vulva. Regular examinations are necessary to detect any abnormal changes in the vulvar region. Several pathologies are defined, a complete descriptive listing may be found in Chapter XIV of the list of ICD-10 codes; the most significant disorders include: The shamefulness associated with the examination of female genitalia has long inhibited the science of gynaecology. ... A renal cell carcinoma (chromophobe type) viewed on a hematoxylin & eosin stained slide Pathologist redirects here. ... The International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems 10th Revision (ICD-10) is a coding of diseases and signs, symptoms, abnormal findings, complaints, social circumstances and external causes of injury or diseases, as classified by the World Health Organization (WHO). ...


Blemishes and cysts

ICD-10 L72. ... Angiomas are benign tumors that are made up of small blood vessels. ... A mole, technically known as a melanocytic naevus, is a small, dark spot on human skin. ... Freckles are small brownish spots of melanin on human skin in people of fair complexion, predominantly found on the face. ... Lentigo is a type of brown skin lesion. ...

Infections

Bacterial vaginosis (BV) is the most common cause of vaginal infection (vaginitis). ... Wart is also the name of a Nintendo character, see Wart (Nintendo character). ... HPV is an initialism that can mean : Human Powered Vehicle Human papillomavirus a type of STD High Production Volume Chemicals Health Purchasing Victoria Hypoxic Pulmonary Vasoconstriction This page concerning a three-letter acronym or abbreviation is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists other pages that might otherwise share... Genital warts (or Condyloma, Condylomata acuminata, or venereal warts) is a highly contagious sexually transmitted infection caused by some sub-types of human papillomavirus (HPV). ... Molluscum contagiosum (MC) is a viral infection of the skin or occasionally of the mucous membranes. ... This article is about the disease. ... Shingles redirects here, for other uses of the term, see Shingle. ... Ringworms can also refer to fans of the Japanese Ring series of horror novels and films, as well as the US remake. ... Hidradenitis suppurativa or HS is a skin disease that affects areas bearing apocrine sweat glands and hair follicles; such as the underarms, groin and buttocks. ...

Inflammatory diseases

For the beetle, see Exema. ... Lichen simplex chronicus is a skin disorder characterized by chronic itching and scratching. ... Lichen sclerosus (LS) (also known as lichen sclerosus et atrophicus (LSA), white-spot disease) is an uncommon disease of unknown cause that results in white patches on the skin, which may cause scarring on and around genital skin[1]. Several risk factors have been proposed, including autoimmune diseases, infections and... Lichen planus is an inflammatory disease that affects the skin and the oral mucosa. ... Vulvitis is a condition of inflammation of the vulva of a female. ... Pemphigus is an autoimmune disorder that causes blistering and raw sores on skin and mucous membranes. ...

Pain syndromes

Vulvodynia refers to a disorder of vulvar pain, burning, and discomfort that interferes with the quality of life. ... Vaginismus is a condition which affects a womans ability to engage in any form of vaginal penetration, including sexual penetration, insertion of tampons, and the penetration involved in gynecological examinations. ...

Vulvar cancer

Symptoms of vulvar cancer include itching, a lump or sore on the vulva which doesn't heal and/or goes larger, and sometimes discomfort/pain/swelling in the vulval area. Treatments include vulvectomy – removal of all or part of the vulva. Biopsy of a highly differentiated squamous cell carcinoma of the mouth. ... Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) is the most common skin cancer. ... Melanoma is a malignant tumor of melanocytes which are found predominantly in skin but also in the bowel and the eye (see uveal melanoma). ... This page is a candidate for speedy deletion. ... Vulvectomy refers to a gynecological procedure in which the vulva is partly or completely removed. ...


Ulcers

An aphthous ulcer or canker sore is a type of mouth ulcer which presents as a painful open sore inside the mouth, caused by a break in the mucous membrane. ... Behçets disease (BD, or Behçets syndrome) is a rare, multisystem disease with chronic inflammation of blood vessels (i. ...

Developmental disorders

  • Septate vagina
  • Vaginal opening extremely close to the urethra or anus
  • An imperforate hymen
  • Various stages of genital masculinization including fused labia, an absent or partially-formed vagina, urethra located on the clitoris.
  • Hermaphroditism

An imperforate hymen is a condition where the hymen completely obstructs the vagina. ... An intersexual is a person (or individual of any unisexual species) who is born with genitalia and/or secondary sexual characteristics of indeterminate sex, or which combine features of both sexes. ...

Other

Extramammary Paget’s disease (EMPD), also Extramammary Paget disease, is a usually non-invasive adenocarcinoma of the skin outside of the mammary gland and includes Pagets disease of the vulva and Pagets disease of the penis. ... The term vulvar intraepithelial neoplasia (VIN) denotes a squamous intraepithelial lesion of the vulva that shows dysplasia with varying degrees of atypia. ... In medicine (dermatology), Bowens disease (BD) is a sunlight-induced skin disease, considered either as an early stage or intraepidermal form of squamous cell carcinoma. ... Vein gymnastics in the barefoot park Dornstetten, Germany. ... There are very few or no other articles that link to this one. ... Medio-lateral episiotomy as baby crowns. ...

Altering the female genitalia

Vulva with horizontal clitoral hood piercing
Vulva with horizontal clitoral hood piercing

The most prevalent form of genital alteration in some countries is female genital cutting: removal of any part of the female genitalia for cultural, religious or other non-medical reasons. This practice is highly controversial as it is often done to non-consenting minors and for debatable (often misogynistic) reasons. Image File history File links en: Clitoris piercing de: Piercing der Klitorisvorhaut Picture taken by FWGDE on June 23, 2005 and uploaded to de. ... Image File history File links en: Clitoris piercing de: Piercing der Klitorisvorhaut Picture taken by FWGDE on June 23, 2005 and uploaded to de. ... Genital modification and genital mutilation both can refer to permanent or temporary changes to the human genitals. ... Female genital cutting (FGC), female genital mutilation (FGM), or female circumcision (FC), is the excision or tissue removal of any part of the female genitalia for cultural, religious or other non-medical reasons. ...


In some cases, people elect to have their genitals pierced, tattooed or otherwise altered for aesthetic or other reasons. Female genital enhancement surgery includes laser resurfacing of the labia to remove wrinkles, clitoral repositioning for those not achieving optimum stimulation, labiaplasty (reducing the size of the labia) and vaginal tightening. This article does not cite any references or sources. ... For other uses, see Tattoo (disambiguation). ... Labiaplasty (sometimes spelled labioplasty) is plastic surgery of the Labia majora and/or the Labia minora, the external folds of the vulva. ... Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ...


Cultural attitudes

In some cultures, including modern Western culture, some women have shaved or otherwise depilated part or all of the vulva. This is a fairly recent phenomenon in the United States, Canada, and western Europe, but has been prevalent, usually in the form of waxing, in many eastern European and Middle Eastern cultures for centuries, usually for the belief that it is more hygienic. High-cut swimsuits compelled their wearers to shave the sides of their pubic triangles. Shaving may also include all or nearly all of the hair. Some styles retain a "racing stripe" (on either side of the labia) or "landing strip" (directly above and in line with the vulva). See the article on pubic hair. This article is about the use of a razor. ... Depilation is a generic term for hair removal which affects the part of the hair above the surface of the skin. ... A current understanding of Western Europe. ... Statistical regions of Europe as delineated by the United Nations (UN definition of Eastern Europe marked red):  Northern Europe  Western Europe  Eastern Europe  Southern Europe Pre-1989 division between the West (grey) and Eastern Bloc (orange) superimposed on current borders: Russia (dark orange), other countries formerly part of the USSR... A map showing countries commonly considered to be part of the Middle East The Middle East is a region comprising the lands around the southern and eastern parts of the Mediterranean Sea, a territory that extends from the eastern Mediterranean Sea to the Persian Gulf. ... Hygiene refers to practices associated with ensuring good health and cleanliness. ... Pubic hair is hair in the frontal genital area, the crotch, and sometimes at the top of the inside of the legs; these areas form the pubic region. ...


Since the early days of Islam, Muslim women and men have followed a tradition to "pluck the armpit hairs and shave the pubic hairs". This is a preferred practice rather than an obligation, and could be carried out by shaving, waxing, cutting,clipping or any other method. This is a regular practice that is considered in some more devout Muslim cultures as a form of worship, not a shameful practice, while in other less devout regions it is a practice for the purpose of good hygiene. (See Islamic jurisprudence.) The reasons behind removing this hair could also be applied to the hair on the scrotum and around the anus, because the purpose is to be completely clean and pure and keep away from anything that may cause dirt and impurities.[8] For people named Islam, see Islam (name). ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ...


Depictions of vulva

Main article: Depictions of nudity
Wikimedia Commons has media related to:

Many cultures have commonly viewed the vulva as something shameful that should be hidden; for example, the term pudendum, which denotes the external genitalia, literally means "shameful thing". Some cultures have long celebrated and even worshipped the vulva; some Hindu sects revere it under the name yoni,[citation needed] and texts seem to indicate a similar attitude in some ancient Middle Eastern religions. As an aspect of Goddess worship such reverence may be part of modern Neopagan beliefs, and may be indicated in paleolithic artworks. Other cultures consider some or all parts of the vulva to be "unclean" and may go as far as to advocate the so-called "female circumcision", which in fact exists in several levels of severity. Fortunately, a better understanding of female anatomy and sexuality is resulting in the abolishment of many of these archaic cultural stigmas.[citation needed] Depictions of nudity refers to nudity in all the artistic disciplines including vernacular and historical depictions. ... This article discusses the adherents of Hinduism. ... For other uses, see Yoni (disambiguation). ... Overview map of the Ancient Near East The term Ancient Near East or Ancient Orient encompasses the early civilizations predating Classical Antiquity in the region roughly corresponding to that described by the modern term Egypt, the Fertile Crescent, Anatolia), during the time roughly spanning the Bronze Age from the rise... Goddess worship is a general description for the veneration of a female Goddess or goddesses. ... Neopaganism or Neo-Paganism is any of a heterogeneous group of new religious movements, particularly those influenced by ancient, primarily pre-Christian and sometimes pre-Judaic religions. ... // The Paleolithic is a prehistoric era distinguished by the development of stone tools. ... Female genital cutting (FGC) refers to a number of procedures performed for cultural, rather than medical, reasons on the female genitalia. ...

Modesty

Main article: Modesty
The Expulsion from the Garden of Eden, by Masaccio, before (with Fig leafs) and after restoration (without them).
The Expulsion from the Garden of Eden, by Masaccio, before (with Fig leafs) and after restoration (without them).

Many sculptors and painters have chosen not to display vulvae in their works, even when depicting nude women. The pubic region was often covered with a piece of cloth, figleaf or a hand. This article needs additional references or sources for verification. ... Download high resolution version (798x986, 124 KB)Masaccio The Expulsion Of Adam and Eve from Eden (1426-28) fresco in Florence, before and after restoration. ... Download high resolution version (798x986, 124 KB)Masaccio The Expulsion Of Adam and Eve from Eden (1426-28) fresco in Florence, before and after restoration. ... The Expulsion from the Garden of Eden, before and after restoration. ... Masaccio (born Tommaso Cassai or in some accounts Tommaso di Ser Giovanni di Mone; December 21, 1401 – autumn 1428), was the first great painter of the Quattrocento period of the Italian Renaissance. ... Eugen Sandow as the Dying Gaul A fig leaf is the covering up of an act or an object that is embarrassing or disagreeable. ... Eugen Sandow as the Dying Gaul A fig leaf is the covering up of an act or an object that is embarrassing or disagreeable. ...


In the case of a painting such as The expulsion of Adam and Eve from Garden of Eden from Masaccio, the fig leaves were added three centuries after the original was painted, probably at the request of Cosimo III de' Medici at the end of the seventeenth century, which has held its nudity repugnant. During restoration in the 1980's, the fig leaves were removed, as well as centuries of dirt to restore the fresco in its original state. For other uses, see Garden of Eden (disambiguation). ... Masaccio (born Tommaso Cassai or in some accounts Tommaso di Ser Giovanni di Mone; December 21, 1401 – autumn 1428), was the first great painter of the Quattrocento period of the Italian Renaissance. ... Eugen Sandow as the Dying Gaul A fig leaf is the covering up of an act or an object that is embarrassing or disagreeable. ... Cosimo III de Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany (14 August 1642 – 31 October 1723) was Grand Duke of Tuscany from 1670 to 1723. ... Events and trends The 1980s marked an abrupt shift towards more conservative lifestyles after the momentous cultural revolutions which took place in the 1960s and 1970s and the definition of the AIDS virus in 1981. ...


When it was displayed or posed, it usually lacked pubic hair (see glabrousness) as well as the physical depiction of the vulva, irrespective of whether the vulva would actually be visible in that pose. In modern times Japanese anime artists often depict female characters without vulvae (even in hentai pornography) to comply with censorship laws. This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Animé redirects here. ... Hentai )   is a Japanese word that can be used to mean metamorphosis or abnormality. In Japan hentai has a negative connotation, and is commonly used to mean sexually perverted. In the West the term is used as slang for sexually explicit or pornographic comics and animation, particularly Japanese anime, manga... For other uses, see Censor. ...


As throughout history the actual or artistic display of vulvae was uncommon, aesthetic standards for the depiction of the vulva in the West developed after visual pornography became more widespread.[citation needed] Currently, color desaturation is often used to purge photographic images of pornographic associations.[citation needed] Porn redirects here. ...


See also

Wikimedia Commons has media related to:
Look up vulva in
Wiktionary, the free dictionary.

Wiktionary (a portmanteau of wiki and dictionary) is a multilingual, Web-based project to create a free content dictionary, available in over 151 languages. ...

Slang

Wiktionary (a portmanteau of wiki and dictionary) is a multilingual, Web-based project to create a free content dictionary, available in over 151 languages. ...

Health and function

The word menopause literally means the permanent physiological, or natural, cessation of menstrual cycles, from the Greek roots meno (month) and pausis (a pause, a cessation). ... An orgasm (sexual climax) is the conclusion of the plateau phase of the sexual response cycle, and may be experienced by both males and females. ... Vulvovaginal health is the health and sanitation of the human female vulva and vagina. ... The gonad is the organ that makes gametes. ...

Art

L’Origine du monde (The Origin of the World) is an oil on canvas painted by Gustave Courbet in 1866. ... Sheela-na-Gigs or Sheela Na Gigs are grotesque figurative carvings of naked females displaying an exaggerated vulva. ... For other uses, see Yoni (disambiguation). ...

References

  1. ^ Dorlands Medical Dictionary
  2. ^ See Venus of Willendorf and Fertility :

    Her vulva, breasts, and swollen belly, are heavily pronounced, suggesting a strong connection to fertility. Venus of Willendorf Venus of Willendorf, also known as the Woman of Willendorf, is an 11. ... Fertility is the natural capability of giving life. ...

    and

    Fertility is the natural capability of giving life.

  3. ^ LJWorld.com / ‘V' is for vulva, not just vagina
  4. ^ Online Etymology Dictionary
  5. ^ http://cancerweb.ncl.ac.uk/cgi-bin/omd?external+female+genital+organs
  6. ^ For slang terms for the "vulva", see WikiSaurus:female genitalia — the WikiSaurus list of synonyms and slang words for female genitalia in many languages.
  7. ^ Glossary
  8. ^ According to Al-Munajjid, Sheikh Muhammad Saleh (Released 27th July 2004). "Islam Ruling on Shaving the Pubic Hair, Scrotum and Around the Anus".

For other uses, see Slang (disambiguation). ... Wiktionary (a portmanteau of wiki and dictionary) is a multilingual, Web-based project to create a free content dictionary, available in over 151 languages. ...

External links

The vagina, (from Latin, literally sheath or scabbard ) is the tubular tract leading from the uterus to the exterior of the body in female placental mammals and marsupials, or to the cloaca in female birds, monotremes, and some reptiles. ... The Bartholins glands (also called Bartholin glands or greater vestibular glands) are two glands located slightly below and to the left and right of the opening of the vagina in women. ... Bartholins ducts are a pair of ducts leading from the Bartholins glands to the surface of the vulva. ... In human anatomy, the Skenes glands (also known as the lesser vestibular, periurethral glands, or paraurethral glands[1]) are glands located on the upper wall of the vagina, around the lower end of the urethra. ... The Skenes ducts are a pair of ducts leading from the Skenes glands to the surface of the vulva, to the left and right of the urethral opening. ... Between the hymen and the frenulum of the labia is the fossa of vestibule of vagina (or fossa navicularis), while in the groove between the hymen and the labium minus, on either side, the small opening of the greater vestibular gland (Bartholin’s) can be seen. ... The fornices of the vagina are the deepest portions of the vagina, extending into the recesses created by the extension of the cervix into the vaginal space. ... For the Greek god of marriage, see Hymenaios. ... The vaginal orifice is a median slit below and behind the opening of the urethra; its size varies inversely with that of the hymen. ... The Wolffian duct (also known as archinephric duct, Leydigs duct, mesonephric duct, or nephric duct) is a paired organ found in mammals including humans during embryogenesis. ... Gartners duct is a potential embryological remnant in human female development of the mesonephric ducts. ... The epoophoron , also called organ of Rosenmüller, is a remnant of the Wolffian duct that can be found next to the ovary and fallopian tube. ... The paroöphoron consists of a few scattered rudimentary tubules, best seen in the child, situated in the broad ligament between the epoöphoron and the uterus. ... The Canal of Nuck, described by Anton Nuck in 1691, is an abnormal patent pouch of peritoneum extending into the labium major of women. ... ... Female internal reproductive anatomy The urethral sponge is a spongy cushion of tissue, found in the lower genital area of women, that sits against both the pubic bone and vaginal wall, and surrounds the urethra. ...

  Results from FactBites:
 
eMedicine - Malignant Vulvar Lesions : Article Excerpt by William T Creasman (1588 words)
Because the vulva is covered with skin, any malignancy that appears elsewhere on the skin also can occur on the vulva.
Long-term pruritus, lumps, or masses on the vulva are present in most patients with invasive vulvar cancer.
Because the vulva is rich in lymphatics, metastasis to the inguinal lymph node can occur early in the process.
In Focus: Keeping Your Vulva Healthy — teenwire.com (699 words)
Itchiness, redness, and irritation of the vulva are fairly common and often easily prevented and treated.
Likewise, avoid using anything scented or colored on your vulva — that means certain lotions, perfumes, deodorized tampons or pads, feminine sprays, douches, and colored or fragranced toilet paper and tissues.
And wash those white cotton panties in mild, unscented soap — detergents, bleach, and fabric softeners are often the cause of vulvar irritation.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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