VAGINAL ITCHING
VALVULOPLASTY
candidiasis
or
trichomoniasis,
or may be
due to a foreign body, such as a forgot-
ten tampon, in the vagina.
vaginal itching Irritation in the
vagina,
often associated with
vulval itching
. In
many cases, it is a symptom of
vaginitis
,
which may be caused by infection or an
allergic reaction to hygiene or spermici-
dal products. Vaginal itching is common
after the
menopause
, when it is caused
by low oestrogen levels. Depending on
the cause, treatment may be with
anti-
biotic drugs
or hormones.
vaginal repair An operation to correct
prolapse of the vaginal wall. This may
be accompanied by a vaginal
hysterec-
tomy
if the uterus is also prolapsed (see
uterus, prolapse
of).
vaginismus Painful, involuntary spasm of
the muscles surrounding the entrance
to the
vagina
, interfering with
sexual
intercourse
and sometimes also medical
vaginal examinations. (See also
inter-
course, painful; psychosexual dysfunction.)
vaginitis Inflammation of the
vagina
that may be caused by infection, com-
monly by the fungus
Candida albicans
(see candidiasis), the parasite
tricho-
monas vaginalis
(see
trichomoniasis),
or
bacteria. After the
menopause
the vagi-
nal lining becomes fragile and prone to
inflammation. This is called atrophic
vaginitis and is due to a reduction in
the production of
oestrogen hormones
.
Infections are treated with
antibiotics
or
antifungal drugs.
In cases of allergy,
irritants should be avoided. Any foreign
body is removed. Atrophic vaginitis is
treated with
oestrogen drugs.
(See also
vulvitis
;
vulvovaginitis
.)
vagotomy An operation in which the
vagus nerve
, which controls production
of digestive acid by the stomach wall, is
cut. Once widely used to treat some
cases of
peptic ulcer
, it has now largely
been replaced by drug treatment.
vagus nerve The 10th
cranial nerve
and
principal component of the parasympa-
thetic division of the
autonomic nervous
system.
The vagus nerve passes from
the medulla oblongata (in the
brainstem
)
through the neck and chest to the abdo-
men, and has branches to most major
organs, including the larynx, pharynx, tra-
chea, lungs, heart, and digestive system.
valgus The medical term for outward
displacement of a part of the body.
valproate See
sodium valproate.
Valsalva's manoeuvre A forcible at-
tempt to breathe out when the airway is
closed. The manoeuvre occurs naturally
when an attempt is made to breathe out
while holding the
vocal cords
tightly
together. This happens, for example, at
the beginning of a sneeze. When per-
formed deliberately by pinching the
nose and holding the mouth closed, the
manoeuvre can prevent pressure dam-
age to the eardrums (see
barotrauma
).
valve A structure that allows fluid or
semi-fluid material to flow in 1 direc-
tion through a tube or passageway but
closes to prevent reflux in the opposite
direction. The valves at the exits from
the
heart
chambers and in the
veins
are
essential to the
circulatory system
. There
are also small valves in the vessels of
the
lymphatic system.
VALVE
Blood at low
pressure
Valve
cusp
(flap)
Blood
at high
pressure
opens
valve
OPEN VALVE
Blood at high pressure
closes valve
Valve
cusp
pressure
blood
CLOSED VALVE
Low
valve replacement A surgical operation
to replace a defective or diseased heart
valve. (See also
heart-valve surgery.)
valvotomy An operation that is per-
formed to correct a narrowed
heart
valve
. Cuts are made, or pressure is
applied, to separate the flaps of the
valve where they have joined, thereby
reducing the degree of narrowing. Valvo-
tomy is performed either by opening the
heart up (see
heart-valve surgery
) or by
balloon
valvuloplasty
.
valvular heart disease A defect of 1
or more of the
heart valves.
valvuloplasty Reconstructive or repair
surgery on a defective heart valve (see
heart-valve surgery
). Valvuloplasty may
V
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