Trauma to the female genital tract is unfortunately relatively common, and often occurs during childbirth. However, serious genital trauma may also occur during consensual or non-consensual sex or be self-induced or accidental in origin, with all injuries requiring significant skills to identify and treat appropriately. This eChapter is from the eBook The Vulva and Vaginal Manual, and describes the most common forms of trauma to female genitalia, including an extended discussion on the topic of female circumcision.

The author begins by emphasising that the commonest cause of moderate or severe physical trauma to the vulva and vagina is childbirth, with most primigravidas and many parous women delivering vaginally at or near term experiencing tearing of the lower vagina or vulva around the introitus, unless an episiotomy of the perineum is performed. Injuries associated with sexual trauma are then described, including tearing of the hymen, and injuries resulting from rape. The eChapter then considers the topic of accidental trauma, which, although relatively rare, is often the result of being thrown again the handlebars of a bicycle or motorcycle. Following this, self-induced injuries are discussed, and photographs are used to illustrate the descriptions.

The second part of the eChapter is concerned with iatrogenic trauma, and focuses upon injuries occurring as a result of surgical interventions, excessive use of harmful chemicals in the treatment of certain diseases of the vulva and vagina and damage that may arise from radiotherapy used for the treatment of uterine cancer. An extended discussion on female circumcision dominates the latter half of this section, which concludes with a description of approaches to removal of foreign bodies from within the vagina.

This eChapter forms part of the Ausmed publication The Vulva and Vaginal Manual, edited by Graeme Dennerstein, James Scurry, John Brenan, David Allen and Maria-Grazia Marin. A richly illustrated and comprehensive guide to the identification and treatment of over 275 vulvovaginal diseases The Vulva and Vaginal Manual is an invaluable resource especially suitable for:

  • Gynecologists
  • Dermatologists
  • General Practitioners
  • Obstetricians
  • Midwives
  • General nurses
  • Practice nurses
  • Nurse Practitioners

There are also 14 additional eChapters from The Vulva and Vaginal Manual available for members to download from the Ausmed website. Subscription also entitles members to access the full range of resources that compliment and build upon the material described within The Vulva and Vaginal Manual, including a richly populated catalogue of Audio Lectures, Fast Facts and Video Learning Activities on the topics of gynecology, obstetrics, oncology, women’s health and a wide range of other healthcare topics. Both members and non-subscribers alike may also purchase a hard copy of this book from the Ausmed Education Online Bookstore, along with hard copies of the complimentary publication Gynecological Cancer Care: A Guide to Practice.

Contents include

  • Retention of foreign bodies
  • Ritual infibulation: female circumcision
  • Trauma caused by chemicals, irradiation or surgery
  • Differentiating self-induced and accidental trauma
  • Injuries that may occur to the vulva or vagina during non-consensual sex
  • Injuries to the vulva and vagina associated with childbirth.
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Author / Editor Biographies

John Brenan is a dermatologist practicing in Melbourne. He is a past President of the Australian College of Dermatology, consultant dermatologist to the Mercy Hospital for Women and the original dermatologist for the Dermogynaecology Clinic.
David Allen is a certified gynaecological oncologist practicing at the Mercy Hospital for Women and the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, East Melbourne. He is an Associate Professor in the Department of Surgery at the University of Melbourne.
James Scurry is one of Australia's leading gynaecological pathologists. He is a pathologist in Newcastle, New South Wales.
Grazia Marin is a psychologist in private practice in Melbourne and past committee member and Education Officer of the Victorian Psychosexual Society. She is also a member of the International Society for the Study of Vulvovaginal Diseases and is serving on its Patient Education and Sexual Difficulties committees.
Dr Dennerstein is an Obstetrician and Gynaecologist with medical expertise in the health of the vulva and vagina. He is the former Head of the Dermo-gynaecology Clinic at The Mercy Hospital for Women and co-author of the book entitled: The Vulva and Vagina Manual. He has lectured extensively on this topic, both internationally and nationally. Graeme has extensive experience in family planning and reproductive health. In 1971 he established the Family Planning and Infertility Clinic at the Western General Hospital in Melbourne, serving as its director until 1986. From 1980 to 1989 he was the ...

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