VOYEURISM
VULVOVAGINITIS
V
voyeurism The observation, on a regu-
lar basis, of unsuspecting people who
may be naked, getting undressed, or
engaged in sexual activity, in order to
achieve sexual arousal.
VSD The abbreviation for
ventricular
septal defect.
vulva The external part of the female
genitalia, comprising the
clitoris
and
2
pairs of skin folds called
labia.
The most common symptom affecting
the vulva is
vulval itching.
Various skin
disorders, such as
dermatitis,
may affect
the vulva. Specific vulval conditions
include genital
warts, vUvitis, vulvo-
vaginitis,
and cancer
(vulva, cancer
of).
vulva, cancer of A rare disorder that
most commonly affects postmenopausal
women. Cancer of the vulva may be pre-
ceded by vulval itching, but in many
cases the first symptom is a lump or
painful ulcer on the vulva.
A diagnosis of vulval cancer is made
by
biopsy.
Treatment is by surgical
removal of the affected area. The out-
look depends on how soon the cancer is
diagnosed and treated.
vulval itching Irritation of the
vulva.
Most commonly, vulval itching is due to
an allergic reaction to chemicals in
spermicidal or hygiene products. Itching
is also common after the
menopause
,
when it is due to low levels of
oestrogen
.
In addition,
vulval
itching may be
caused by a vaginal discharge due to
infection (see
vaginitis
) or by vulval skin
changes (see
vulvitis
).
Treatment may be with
antibiotics
or
hormones, depending on the cause.
vulvitis Inflammation
of
the
vulva.
Infections that may cause vulvitis are
candidiasis
, genital herpes (see
herpes,
genital
), and warts (see
warts, genital
).
Infestations with
pubic lice
or
scabies
are other possible causes. Vulvitis may
also occur as a result of changes in the
vulval skin. These changes tend to affect
women after the
menopause
, although
there is no apparent trigger. They may
take the form of red or white patches
and/or thickened or thinned areas that
may be inflamed. Other possible causes
of vulvitis include allergic reactions to
hygiene products, excessive vaginal dis-
charge, or urinary
incontinence.
Treatment depends on the cause. A
combination of drugs applied to the vulva
and good hygiene is usually recom-
mended. A
biopsy
may be taken, if there
are skin changes, to exclude the slight
possibility of vulval cancer. (See also
vulvovaginitis; vaginitis.)
vulvovaginitis Inflammation of the
vulva
and
vagina.
Vulvovaginitis is often pro-
voked as a result of the infections
candidiasis
or
trichomoniasis
. (See also
vaginitis; vulvitis.)
592
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