Sex 20/12/2017 Alexander Covarrubias No comments

All About the Amazing Vagina

In common speech, the term “vagina” is often used improperly to refer to the female genitals generally or the vulva; strictly speaking the vagina is a specific internal structure and the vulva is the exterior genitalia only. Calling the vulva the vagina is akin to calling the mouth the throat.  The appearance of the vulva and the size of the various parts varies a great deal from one woman to another, and it is common for the left and right sides to not “match” exactly in an individual woman

The Vulva - All About the Amazing Vagina

The vagina can perform the following tasks:

  • Admit the penis of the male for sexual intercourse and ultimately the introduction of sperm for the fertilization of ova.
  • Provide sexual pleasure to a woman (although vaginal orgasms are rarer than clitoral orgasms).
  • During live birth, provide the route to deliver the fetus from the uterus to its independent life outside the body of the mother. During birth, the vagina is often referred to as the birth canal.
  • Provide a path for menstraul fluids to leave the body.

The vagina is an elastic muscular tube about 4 inches (100 mm) long and 1 inch (25 mm) in diameter that connects the vulva at the outside to the cervix of the uteras at the inside. If the woman stands upright, the vaginal tube points in an upward-backward direction and forms an angle of approximately 90 degrees with the uterus. The vaginal opening is at the back end of the vulva, behind the opening of the uretha. The inside of the vagina is usually pink.

Length, width and shape of the vagina vary greatly. Vaginal lubrication is provided by glands near the vaginal opening and the cervix.  There is some debate on whether or not the vaginal lining (epithelium) provides any type of lubrication.

Slightly below and to the left and right of the vaginal opening are two Bartholin glands; when the woman is sexually aroused, they produce a lubricating substance that makes sexual penetration easier. If this lubrication is insufficient, artificial lubrication may be used to facilitate sexual intercourse.  If excessive lubrication is experienced, there are non-medical and medical options available to decrease some of the vaginal moisture.

The Vagina - All About the Amazing VaginaThe cervix has a constant downward flow of mucous to prevent bacteria from entering the uterus and continually cleanses the vagina.  This mucous is affected by the hormone changes (ie. menstual cycle, birth contol pills).

Vaginal mucous tissue (epithelium) is a protective tissue that covers the wall of the vagina and is rather strong.  The thickness of this tissue is determined by the balance of the sex hormones.  This balance changes during the menstrual cycle, during pregnancy and with age.  In young girls and older women, the mucous tissue is only a few cell layers thick, therefore these women are quite vulnerable  and the delicate balance of micro-organisms in the vagina can be easily disturbed.

The vaginal environment is a complex ecosystem that consists of a great many ‘friendly’ micro-organisms (bacteria and yeast)  that live together in the vagina.  Together these micro-organisms are called the ‘vaginal flora’.  If this balance is upset, yeast can overgrow causing symptoms that often indicate a vaginal infection. (ie. Yeast infection).  It is important to note that the vagina usually has an acidic environment (low pH) to prevent overgrowth of the normal yeast present in the vagina.  This acidity is largely determined by Lactobacilli, one of the ‘friendly’ bacteria found in the vagina.  The ecosystem is hormonally and pH dependent & thus varies throughout the menstrual cycle.

Excess Vaginal 10/12/2017 Alexander Covarrubias No comments

Vaginal Yeast Infection and it’s Causes

The cause of a Candidiasis / Candida albicans (yeast infection which is a type of fungus) is anything that interferes with the pH balance of the vagina or more generally speaking, anything that causes an imbalance of the microorganisms (bacteria and yeast) found in a healthy vagina.

This list has been compiled to help you understand the numerous causes of yeast infection and how you can avoid this problem.

Environment

  • warm weather
  • stress – affects pH. By reducing stress, the adrenal glands can rest & helps improve copper metabolism. Lack of rest stresses the adrenals. Stimulants like caffeine or heavy exercise decimates the adrenal glands. Deep breathing & good posture assist oxygenation of the body which inhibits candida.

Medications / Medical Conditions

  • antacids & other drugs that reduce acid may worsen candida by creating a deficiency of stomach acid.
  • impaired immune system – any condition in which the immune system is weakened or suppressed (ie: AIDS, cancer, stress, immunosuppression from drugs or disease, reduced levels of beta carotene in vaginal cells due to suppressed immunity in those cells, being run down, improper nutrition)
  • immunosuppression from drugs or disease
  • anti inflammatory drugs
  • diabetes – the fungus love sugar (especially white)
  • Steroids
  • PMS (premenstrual syndrome)
  • multiple sclerosis
  • hormonal treatment for menopause
  • menstrual cycle -pH fluctuates during the cycle & is least acidic on the days just prior to & during menstruation. Infections are the most common at these times.
  • reduced levels of beta carotene in vaginal cells due to suppressed immunity in those cells
  • chronic diarrhea
  • allergic reactions (allergies & allergy producing foods)
  • chronic viral infections
  • glandular disorders
  • trauma (ie: surgery)
  • chemotherapy & radiation treatments
  • other chronic health problems such as ear infections & sexual dysfunction in adults
  • asthma
  • Psoriasis
  • weak adrenals
  • improper bowel flora – is very common & often contributes towards candida infections. Much of the problem is due to antibiotic use & constant ingestion of small doses of antibiotics found in drinking water & commercial animal products. Other toxic chemicals or additives in foods may also be a factor.
  • Bowel impaired activity – low fiber in the diet, parasitic infections & stress also impair bowel activity. Debris in the intestines also harbor bacteria that interfere with normal bowel flora. Constipation aggravates candida infection. If one does not have a daily bowel movement, harmful organisms have more time to multiply & generate toxins.
  • some women have low levels of lactobacilli (see The Healthy Vaginal ‘Environment’ for more information)
  • antibiotics
  • Prevalence of certain bacteria is increased during menstruation
  • pregnancy-due to increased levels of progesterone & blood sugar. Alters hormone balance.
  • over-alkaline intestinal tract
  • Hyperactivity
  • severe obesity (due to excessive sweating in the genital area)

Feminine Practices / Products

  • douching – alters the normal acidity & pH & can dry the vagina surface (washes away natural protective mucous lining). With women that lubricate heavily, the vagina does not remain dry for more than a few minutes. Douching kills off lactobacilli, leaving your vagina open to attack from the overgrowth of organisms that cause vaginal infections.
  • wiping from rectum towards the vagina
  • tampons
  • perfumed soaps
  • feminine deodorants
  • after bath powders
  • bath oils
  • bath salts

Eating Habits / Diet

  • eating habits- a diet too high in simple sugars
  • alcohol
  • slow metabolism
  • environmental chemicals such as pesticides (consumed in food)
  • Other toxic substances (consumed in food)

Sex / Sexual Practices

  • lubricants that are of mineral oil or petroleum jelly. If they contains sugar, the yeast love it.
  • too little lube (note: AbsorbShun natural powder promotes dryER sex NOT dry sex)
  • sexually transmitted diseases
  • sperm – highly alkaline, so vagina needs to work extra hard to return itself to its acidic status. Multiple partners & no condoms means different sperm & an increased chance of bacterial vaginosis (type of yeast infection)
  • birth control pills (bcp) due to progesterone (hormone) & other birth control devices.

Clothing / Laundry

  • damp underwear
  • detergents
  • fabric softeners
  • re-infection from panties not properly cleaned. Normal laundering won’t kill the fungus. This web site www.bodyandfitness.com/Information/Womenhealth/yeast.htm describes how to properly clean underwear.
  • wearing nylons – the nylons don’t ‘breath’ (must wear cotton panties underneath nylons to avoid this)
  • tight clothing

Miscellaneous

  • colored toilet paper

For more detailed information visit these links, set up by various health & medical establishments across Canada & the United States, that discuss vaginal yeast infections and their causes greater detail.

Resources / Links

www.vh.org/adult/patient/obgyn/yeast

www.health.gov.on.ca/english/public/pub/std/cand.html (Yeast Infection information)