Vagina

Paweł Łaniewski, Melissa Herbst-Kralovetz

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract

The vagina functions as a female copulative organ and a canal for childbirth and menstrual secretions and is composed of smooth muscles, connective tissue and mucosa lined by a nonkeratinized, stratified squamous epithelium covered by mucus. Sex hormones impact the physiology and structure of the vaginal epithelium and the vaginal microbiota (VMB) at this site. Estrogen facilitates glycogen production and promotion of lactobacilli growth. Lactobacilli acidify the microenvironment which protects the vagina against invading pathogens. Lactobacilli dominance is associated with vaginal health, whereas depletion of lactobacilli results in dysbiosis. The health outcomes of VMB disruption will be discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationEncyclopedia of Reproduction
PublisherElsevier
Pages353-359
Number of pages7
ISBN (Electronic)9780128151457
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018

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Keywords

  • Aerobic vaginosis
  • Atrophic vaginitis
  • Bacterial vaginosis
  • Dysbiosis
  • Glycogen
  • Homeostasis
  • Lactic acid
  • Sex hormones
  • Trichomoniasis
  • Vaginal cancer
  • Vaginal epithelium
  • Vaginal health
  • Vaginal microbiome
  • Vaginal ph
  • Vulvovaginal candidiasis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

Cite this

Łaniewski, P., & Herbst-Kralovetz, M. (2018). Vagina. In Encyclopedia of Reproduction (pp. 353-359). Elsevier. https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-12-801238-3.64406-9