Lumps on genitals in women
The main lump in the vagina is the cervix (neck of the womb). This projects into the far end of the vagina and is about 3 cm across. You can usually feel the cervix by inserting the first two fingers into the vagina and pushing upwards. It is easier to feel if you ‘bear down’ (contract your stomach muscles as if you are trying to open your bowels). The texture of the cervix is similar to the end of your nose, but it has a hole in the middle. In a woman who has not had a child, the hole is about the size of a pencil lead, but it is usually larger in women who have given birth. Menstrual blood passes through this hole from the womb into the vagina.
- Lose weight if you are obese. This will certainly help; excess weight puts pressure on the pelvic floor and makes the problem worse.
- Stop smoking if you have a smokers cough; coughing puts pressure on the pelvic floor.
- Do pelvic floor exercises. They will help leakage of urine due to prolapse.
- Surgery is needed if prolapse is troublesome, particularly if it is causing incontinence of urine. The surgeon cuts away flabby parts of the vagina and strengthens the supporting tissues. It is important to tell the surgeon if you are still sexually active, so that the vagina is not made too narrow, or intercourse may later be uncomfortable.
- A pessary is a special ring placed in the vagina to give support. Pessaries are made of plastic and are changed every 6 months. They are usually used as a stop-gap measure while waiting for an operation, or for women who cannot have surgery for any reason.
Entrance to the vagina (vulva)
Written by: Dr Margaret Stearn
Edited by: Dr Margaret Stearn
Last updated: Friday, February 26th 2010
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