The vulva (female shame) is an important erogenous zone. Read more about the vulva here: anatomy, function and diseases!


The vulva is the female pubic, ie the outer area of ​​the female genitalia. These include, inter alia, the vaginal vestibule, the labia and the clitoris. The vulva is an important erogenous zone. Read all important information about the vulva here: anatomy, function and health problems such as inflammation, infections and cancers!

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  • What is the vulva?

  • What function does the vulva have?

  • Where is the vulva?

  • What problems can the vulva cause?

What is the vulva?

The vulva (female pubis) is the outer area of ​​the female genitalia. It is one of the primary sexual organs of women. The vulva includes:

  • the pubic mound (mons pubis): the fat pad over the symphysis region
  • the big labia majora (Labia majora)
  • the small labia minora (Labia minora)
  • the clitoris (clitoris)
  • the vaginal vestibule

The column formed by the two labia majora is called pubic ram (Rima pudendi). The union of the labia majora in the anterior region is referred to as anterior commissure, and in the posterior region as the posterior commissure.

The labia minora in their anterior region go into a fringe (Frenulum clitoridis) that surrounds the clitoris and into the clitoris itself. In the back area - towards the dam, which is also the end of the vulva - unite the labia minora.

The vaginal vestibule between the labia minora is the common anteroom into which the vagina and urethra open. In addition, all ducts of the glands, which are located in the area of ​​the vulva, open here. The Bartholin glands drain on the inside of the labia minora and a gray-white secretion into the vaginal vestibule. The excretory ducts of the paraurethral glands lead to the opening of the urethra.

The vulva changes in the course of life with the amount of sex hormones produced. During puberty it enlarges and becomes more pigmented. The individual structures are more pronounced, especially the clitoris and the labia majora and labia. In addition, the pubic hair grows.

If hormone production decreases with age or after surgical removal of the ovaries, this leads to atrophy of the vulva, ie tissue loss.

What function does the vulva have?

The vulva is an important erogenous zone. The sexual stimulation center is the clitoris. The labia minora protect the vaginal entrance and supply the delicate mucous membrane with glandular secretions.

Where is the vulva?

The vulva is the outer area of ​​the female primary sex organs. It extends from the pubic mound over the outer and inner labia to the perineum (transitional area between the vulva and the anus).

What problems can the vulva cause?

Inflammation of the vulva (vulvitis) affects the entire area of ​​the external genitalia. It can be infectious. Such vulvar infections are always characterized by itching, burning pains, redness, swelling and discharge, regardless of the cause, and occasionally by swelling and pain in the inguinal lymph nodes. However, vulvitis can also have non-infectious causes.

One distinguishes primary and secondary vulvitis:

Primary vulvitis

It includes inflammations that are limited to the vulva. The cause is often an allergic reaction to soaps, detergents, intimate sprays, synthetic clothing or medicines. The primary vulvitis can also be a psychogenic development.

Bacterial infections of the vulva include bartholinitis and folliculitis. Bartholinitis is a common disease in the vulva area. It is an inflammation of the duct of one of the Bartholin glands on the inside of the labia minora. It causes severe pain and a one-sided swelling, which can reach the size of a tennis ball.

Folliculitis is the inflammation of hair follicles in the area of ​​female pubis. It can dilate to an abscess, multiple sites of inflammation side by side can melt together to a carbuncle, which then has to be surgically removed. The main cause in such a case is diabetes mellitus as an underlying disease.

Viral infections of the vulva are also possible, such as herpesviruses (genital herpes) or papillomaviruses (genital warts).

Infection by herpes viruses is one of the most common sexually transmitted diseases. The viruses are transmitted by lubrication or droplet infection. A genital infection with the herpes virus during pregnancy can be transmitted via the placenta or ascending to the child.Most often, however, the child is infected during birth - it then comes to a generalized herpes neonatorum, which affects 40 to 50 percent of babies and has a high mortality rate.

Infection with the human papillomavirus (HPV) causes genital warts in the area of ​​the vulva. Of the more than 100 different types of papillomaviruses, about 20 are affected by the genital area. A distinction is made here between "low-risk" and "high-risk" genotypes, which can cause benign (benign skin warts) and also malignant changes (leading to cervical cancer).

Secondary vulvitis

Secondary vulvitis is said to be when the vulvar inflammation originates from the genitourinary or anal area. Triggering diseases may be vaginitis (colpitis) or a maggot infestation (oxyuriasis).

Other diseases in the vulva

A vulvar carcinoma is a malignant tumor in the area of ​​the vulva and rarely on. In most cases, it is a so-called squamous cell carcinoma. Other malignant tumors (such as basal cell carcinoma, malignant melanoma = black skin cancer) as well as benign tumors in the area of ​​the vulva are possible.

In addition, tumors that grow on other parts of the body (such as cervix or rectal cancer) can cause daughter ablation (metastasis) in the vulvar region.

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