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WHAT IS THE VAGINA
The vagina is a muscular and tubular part of the female genital tract, which extends from the vulva to the cervix. The outer vaginal opening may be partly covered by a membrane called the hymen. At the deep end, the cervix (also know as the neck of the uterus) bulges into the vagina. The vagina allows for sexual intercourse and childbirth, and channels menstrual flow. The vagina is an internal organ, commonly misattributed as the vulva, the outer section of the female genitalia.
During sexual activity, vaginal moisture is increased during sexual arousal. This is by way of vaginal lubrication, which reduces friction and allows for smoother penetration of the vagina during sexual activity. The texture of the vaginal walls creates friction for the penis during sexual intercourse and stimulates it toward ejaculation, enabling fertilization. Along with pleasure and bonding, sexual behavior among women (which may include heterosexual or lesbian sexual activity) can also come with the risk of sexually transmitted infections (STIs), in which case safe sex practices are recommended. Certain disorders may also affect the vagina.
WHY CHOSE THE GYN SURGICAL INSTITUTE FOR YOUR PROCEDURE?
The GYN Surgical institute is specialized in vaginal surgeries and procedures. (Click link for more information)
COMMON VAGINAL DISORDERS
Sexually Transmitted Infections
Because of STIs, it is recommended that safe sex practices, including using condoms, are used during any sexual activity. If you feel you may be at risk, please come in for an STI test.
- Herpes genetalis
- Human Papillomavirus (HPV)
Other Infectious Diseases
- Candidal vulvovaginitis
- Bacterial Vaginosis (BV)
- Persistent genital arousal disorder
- Vaginal Prolapse
- Cervical cancer
- Vaginal cancer
- Air embolism
SYMPTOMS OF VAGINAL DISEASES AND DISORDERS
Discharge: Most vaginal discharges occur due to normal bodily functions, such as menstruation or sexual arousal (vaginal lubrication). Abnormal discharges,however, often indicate the presence of a disease or disorder. Normal vaginal discharges include blood or menses and clear fluid either as a result of sexual arousal or secretions from the cervix. Other non-infective causes include dermatitis. Non-sexually transmitted discharges occur from bacterial vaginosis, aerobic vaginitis and vaginal yeast infections. The final group of discharges include the sexually transmitted diseases gonorrhea, chlamydia, and trichomoniasis. The discharge from a yeast is slightly pungent and white, discharge from trichomoniasis more foul and greenish, and that from foreign bodies resembling the discharge of gonorrhea, greyish or yellow and purulent (pus-like).
Prolapse: Vaginal prolapse is a condition in which structures such as the uterus, rectum, bladder, urethra, small bowel, or the vagina itself may begin to collapse and/or prolapse, or fall out of their normal positions. Without medical treatment or surgery, these structures may eventually prolapse farther into the vagina or even through the vaginal opening if their supports weaken enough. This is a common disorder among women who have had a hysterectomy.
Aging, childbirth, or the combination of both sometimes causes anatomical changes that may affect normal function of the vagina. Performed as an outpatient procedure, Vaginal Rejuvenation is a surgical procedure to tighten the vaginal canal and reduce the size of the vaginal opening. Not only does the procedure rejuvenate the lining of the vagina, it addresses the supporting tissues surrounding it – aiding in increased muscle tone, control, strength, and possibly increasing sensation and pleasurable friction during sexual intercourse.
WHY CHOSE THE GYN SURGICAL INSTITUTE FOR VAGINAL REJUVENATION?
Here are just a few reasons why you may want to consider vaginal rejuvenation.
- Your vaginal structures sag and have become more lax due to aging, weight loss, or pregnancies.
- You have discomfort from scarring as a result of previous genital surgeries.
- You have stress urinary incontinence and wish to combine a vaginal lift with a corrective procedure.
- You desire a sleeker, more refined contour to your labia and vulva.
WHAT IS A HYMENOPLASTY
Hymenoplasty may be performed to repair a torn hymen, which is a thin membrane located at the opening of the vagina. Women may request this surgical procedure for cultural, religious, or social reasons, but the effect is similar to that of a “second virginity.” During the procedure, fine sutures are used to repair the torn remnants of the hymen. Performed under local anesthetic, hymenoplasty surgery is a relatively quick outpatient procedure.
A hymenoplasty can also be performed for women who feel pain or discomfort during normal activities.
WHAT IS A COLPOPEXY?
Colpopexy is a surgical procedure used to reposition a woman’s vagina that has moved from its correct physical location. Women may experience what is known as vaginal prolapse, where the vaginal structure weakens and falls in on itself; it may even protrude externally through the vaginal opening. The uterus is normally held in place by a hammock of muscles and ligaments. Prolapse happens when the ligaments supporting the uterus become so weak that the uterus cannot stay in place and slips down from its normal position. These ligaments are the round ligament, uterosacral ligaments, broad ligament and the ovarian ligament. The uterosacral ligaments are by far the most important ligaments in preventing uterine prolapse. The procedure, also called vaginopexy or vaginofixation, involves attaching the vagina to surrounding tissue in the abdomen to hold it in place.
IS THIS NORMAL?
This is a fairly common occurrence in women who have had a hysterectomy, though it can also happen as a result of menopause or childbirth. The most common cause of uterine prolapse is trauma during childbirth, in particular multiple or difficult births. About 50% of women who have had children develop some form of pelvic prolapse in their lifetime. It is more common as women get older, particularly in those who have gone through menopause.
WHAT IS VAGINAL STENOSIS
Vaginal stenosis is the condition in which the vagina becomes shorter and narrower. This is caused primarily due to radiation treatment to the pelvic area or surgical removal of surgery. While this in and of itself is not life-threatening, it can cause painful sex and discomfort during pelvic exams. The procedure includes making an incision at the posterior fourchette (the skin below the opening of the vagina), removing a small amount of skin, making incisions into the STP muscles to relax the vaginal outlet, and pulling and attaching the posterior vaginal mucosa over the perineal body to create a larger opening. The vaginal outlet is opened sufficiently to allow pain-free sexual intercourse.
WHAT IS AN EPISIOTOMY?
An episiotomy is a surgical cut made at the opening of the vagina during childbirth, to aid a difficult delivery and prevent rupture of tissues. This procedure used to be common, as it was thought to prevent more extensive tears during childbirth.
There are two types of incisions:
- Midline or median incision — This incision is done vertically. A midline incision is the easiest to repair, however it does pose a higher risk of extending into the anal area.
- Mediolateral incision — An incision is done at an angle. A mediolateral incision has the best protection from an extended tear affecting the anal area, but is often more painful and may be more difficult to repair.
REPAIR FOR PAINFUL SCARS
Fenton’s procedure is a commonly performed operation in which any scar tissue that hasn’t healed satisfactorily is removed. Sometimes incisions over-repair themselves, leaving a raised area within the vagina that can become sore and cause pain during intercourse. In the procedure, this scar tissue is cut out and then the edges of the new incision are placed together and re-stitched. Because the surgery is done on healed tissues (which is why such an operation is usually left until at least six months after childbirth), it is much easier to place the edges together accurately and to avoid any mismatches of tissue edges that can lead to a painful scar. Most episiotomies are repaired within hours of childbirth, although each case is different.
Learn more about the procedure