A friend of a friend reckons reports that as a child they were told that babies were made by ‘mummy and daddy having a very special hug’. Subsequently they were terrified every time their grandparents tried to hug them, convinced that this would leave them impregnated!
Now let’s finish our exploration of the vulva with something a little more than skin deep: the bartholin’s glands. These are two paired glands that lie within the vagina. Their position is roughly shown here: as the two little blue lumps. They lie just inside the entrance or ‘introitus’ of the vagina, as shown here. They can’t be seen directly. However, sometimes they can become infected and inflammed. This can cause pain and swelling as pus collects and is unable to drain – a condition known as a bartholin’s cyst or abscess. Treatment includes antibiotics to target an infection, or drainage and insertion of a ‘word catheter’ – a piece of tubing that can be placed and inflated to prevent pus from reforming and allowing the tissue to heal.