“If you are worried about the smell, or have
symptoms such as itching, burning, irritation, soreness,
painful sex or pain when you wee, see your doctor”.1

Umbrella
What may the Vagina Umbrella include?

Depending on the Source (DotS) this Umbrella may include:

  • Vagina
  • Vulvovaginal
  • “Down Below/There”
  • “Lady Parts”
  • “Private Parts”
  • “Privates”
  • “Things That Go Wrong Down There”
  • “Women’s Bits”

Definition

What is the vagina?

DotS the definition of the vagina may vary. The (United States) MedlinePlus’ definition is:

“The vagina is the female body part that connects the womb (uterus) and cervix to the outside of the body”.2

In Vagina: Information the MedlinePlus also explain:

“The vagina is a muscular tube lined with mucous membranes. Its opening is between the urethra (where urine leaves the body) and the anus (where stool leaves the body).

Menstrual blood leaves the body through the vagina. The vagina also allows for sexual intercourse, and it is the passageway a baby goes through when it is born”.3

Vaginitis

What is vaginitis?

DotS the definition of vaginitis may vary. MedlinePlus’ definition is:

“Inflammation of the vagina is known as vaginitis”.4

Menopause Symptoms

What vaginal symptoms can menopause cause?

In Symptoms of Menopause: Bladder, Vaginal and Vulval Problems the (Australian) Jean Hailes for Women’s Health (JH) explain:

“As you move into perimenopause and menopause, low oestrogen levels can change your vulval, vaginal and bladder tissues. These changes may affect up to half of postmenopausal women”.5

In Symptoms of Menopause: Bladder, Vaginal and Vulval Problems – Vulvovaginal Atrophy the JH also elaborate on:

Vagina“Declining oestrogen levels causes bladder and vaginal tissue to become thin. This can affect areas such as your:

  • Vaginal lining
  • Vulval skin
  • Bladder
  • Urethra (tube that leads from the bladder to the outside of the body)
  • Pelvic floor muscles.

These changes are commonly known as vulvovaginal atrophy”.6

Vulvovaginal Atrophy

What are vulvovaginal atrophy symptoms?

In Vulvovaginal Atrophy the European Menopause and Andropause Society note:

“Symptoms include:

  • Irritation
  • Burning
  • Itching
  • Chafing
  • Discomfort
  • Uncomfortable or even painful intercourse
  • Passing urine more frequently
  • More frequent urinary tract infections
  • Greater discomfort with cervical smear tests”.7

Odour

After menopause may vaginal odour change?

In Vulva and Vagina: What’s Normal? Smell [+ Image] the JH elaborate on:

“It’s normal for your vulva and vagina to smell different at different times in your menstrual cycle and after menopause”.8

Vaginal Health

What can women do to keep their vagina healthy?

In Vagina: What’s Typical, What’s Not – What Can I Do To Keep My Vagina Healthy? the (United States) Mayo Clinic elaborate on:

“You can take steps to protect your vaginal health and overall health. For example:

  • Be sexually responsible…
  • Get vaccinated…
  • Do Kegel exercises…
  • Know your medications…
  • Limit the amount of alcohol you drink and don’t smoke…”.9

Health Care Provider

What if I am unsure about what is going on down there?

If you are unsure about what is going on down there, it may be in your best interest to choose to talk to your health care provider about this.

On page two in Vaginal Dryness: Treatment Options the NAMS explain:

“Notes: Vaginal and vulvar symptoms not related to menopause include yeast infections, allergic reactions, and certain skin conditions, so consult your healthcare professional if symptoms do not improve with treatment”.10

The JH also note:

“If you are worried about the smell, or have symptoms such as itching, burning, irritation, soreness, painful sex or pain when you wee, see your doctor”.11

The Mayo Clinic explain:

“Consult your health care provider if you notice:

  • A change in the color, odor or amount of vaginal discharge
  • Vaginal redness or itching
  • Vaginal bleeding between periods, after sex or after menopause
  • A mass or bulge in the vagina
  • Pain during intercourse”.12

The Mayo Clinic also note:

“While not all vaginal problems can be prevented, regular checkups can help ensure that problems affecting the vagina are diagnosed as soon as possible. Don’t let embarrassment prevent you from talking to your health care provider about concerns you have about vaginal health”.13

Health Topics A-Z

Where may I find Health Topics A-Z related to Vagina?

In Health Topics A-Z you may find:

Links

Where may I find Links related to Vagina?

Your Country may have Links similar to:

Sources

Where may I find the Sources quoted?

You may find the Sources quoted at:

Sources

  1. Vulva and Vagina: What’s Normal? Smell. Last Updated: 10 April  2024 | Last Reviewed: 26 April 2023. Jean Hailes for Women’s Health https://www.jeanhailes.org.au/health-a-z/vulva-vagina/vulva-and-vagina Accessed: 12 May 2024
  2. Vagina. Review Date: 01 November 2023. MedlinePlus https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/002342.htm Accessed: 12 May 2024
  3. Vagina: Information. Review Date: 01 November 2023. MedlinePlus https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/002342.htm Accessed: 12 May 2024
  4. Vagina: Information. Review Date: 01 November 2023. MedlinePlus https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/002342.htm Accessed: 12 May 2024
  5. Symptoms of Menopause: Bladder, Vaginal and Vulval Problems. Last Updated: 21 April 2024 | Last Reviewed: 19 August 2022. Jean Hailes for Women’s Health https://www.jeanhailes.org.au/health-a-z/menopause/menopause-symptoms Accessed: 12 May 2024
  6. Symptoms of Menopause: Bladder, Vaginal and Vulval Problems – Vulvovaginal Atrophy. Last Updated: 21 April 2024  | Last Reviewed: 19 August 2022. Jean Hailes for Women’s Health https://www.jeanhailes.org.au/health-a-z/menopause/menopause-symptoms Accessed: 12 May 2024
  7. Vulvovaginal Atrophy. 2022. European Menopause and Andropause Society https://emas-online.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/Vulvovaginal-atrophy.pdf Accessed: 12 May 2024
  8. Vulva and Vagina: What’s Normal? Smell. Last Updated: 10 April 2024 | Last Reviewed: 26 April 2023. Jean Hailes for Women’s Health https://www.jeanhailes.org.au/health-a-z/vulva-vagina/vulva-and-vagina Accessed: 12 May 2024
  9. Vagina: What’s Typical, What’s Not – What Can I Do To Keep My Vagina Healthy? 06 December 2022. Mayo Clinic https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/womens-health/in-depth/vagina/art-20046562 Accessed: 12 May 2024
  10. Vaginal Dryness: Treatment Options. 2022:2. North America Menopause Society https://www.menopause.org/docs/default-source/for-women/mn-vaginal-dryness.pdf Accessed: 12 May 2024
  11. Vulva and Vagina: What’s Normal? Smell. Last Updated: 10 April 2024 | Last Reviewed: 26 April 2023. Jean Hailes for Women’s Health https://www.jeanhailes.org.au/health-a-z/vulva-vagina/vulva-and-vagina Accessed: 12 May 2024
  12. Vagina: What’s Typical, What’s Not – What Are Signs or Symptoms of Vaginal Problems? 06 December 2022. Mayo Clinic https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/womens-health/in-depth/vagina/art-20046562 Accessed: 12 May 2024
  13. Vagina: What’s Typical, What’s Not – What Can I Do To Keep My Vagina Healthy? 06 December 2022. Mayo Clinic https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/womens-health/in-depth/vagina/art-20046562 Accessed: 12 May 2024
Topic Last Updated: 12 May 2024 – Topic Last Reviewed: 12 May 2024

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