For words you might want to know more
Urinary incontinence is the unintentional passing of urine. It's a common problem thought to affect millions of people. There are several types of urinary incontinence, including: stress incontinence – when urine leaks out at times when your bladder is under pressure; for example, when you cough or laugh.
Endometrosis is a condition resulting from the appearance of endometrial tissue outside the uterus and causing pelvic pain, especially associated with menstruation.
Stress incontinence is usually the result of the weakening of or damage to the muscles used to prevent urination, such as the pelvic floor muscles and the urethral sphincter. Urge incontinence is usually the result of overactivity of the detrusor muscles, which control the bladder.
If you ever wondered where your 'bits' got their names from, wonder no more. In this article, we take a deep dive into our nether regions to discover exactly who the men were behind the labels, that we don't often give a second thought to. Here's 6 of the men who named your gynaecological anatomy...
Gabrielle Fallipio is the chap who gave his name after 'discovering' the fallopian tubes. Gabrielle was an Italian physicist, who was born in 1522 and he was one of the most important anatomists of his time. Although he studied the reproductive organs in both sexes, he was the first to accurately describe the uterine tubes that now we know as the fallopian tubes.
They are also known as the ovarian tubes, if you'd rather.
If you've ever had a Bartholin's cyst, this one will likely give you shudders as they are pretty nasty. But for the rest of us, you might not even have heard of this tiny little gland that sits on either side your vaginal opening. Described by, and named after Caspar Bartholin the Younger, they secrete vaginal mucous during sexual arousal (so keep you nice and lubricated.) Caspar unfortunately hasn't always enjoyed the fruit of his labour - his 'discovery' is often wrongly attributed to his grandfather, Caspar Bartholin the Elder. Easy mistake to make, eh?
Ah, the G-spot. Some of us swear by it's presence, and others have simply no idea what it's about. The person who DOES profess to know it all about the G-spot is a chap called Ernst Gräfenburg, a german physician who is also known for developing the IUD. However, he wasn't the first to make the discovery of the G-spot, which was first reported back in the 17th Century by a physician called Reginier de Graaf. In the 1940s, Gräfenberg had dedicated his work to urethral stimulation, and in 1950, he stated "An erotic zone always could be demonstrated on the anterior wall of the vagina along the course of the urethra."
The term "G-Spot" was coined by Addiego et al. in 1981, named after Gräfenberg.
Did you know that we all - in embryo - start 'female', before the testes develop? Interestingly, Gartner's Duct is in fact the embryonic remnant of where the testes would have gone had they developed. It's located in the broad ligament of the uterus, and was first reported by Hermann Treschow Gartner, who was a Danish anatomist and physician. Gartner's duct can develop cysts, hence why it's medically relevant.
The Pouch of Douglas is a the space that lies between your rectum, and the uterus and it was first described by James Douglas, a 'man-midwife', who, fascinatingly, was known for having proven that a woman was giving birth to rabbits. The Pouch of Douglas isn't the only thing named after him.- douglasitis, a Douglas abscess, the Douglas fold, the Douglas line, the Douglas septum all carry his name. You can also call the Pouch of Douglas the 'rectouterine pouch', if you wish.
Skene's glands sit a little higher than the Bartholin Gland - just a bit lower than the urethra, above the vaginal entrance. They do a very similar job - both release mucous during arousal to lubricate the vagina, but Skene's glands are also thought to release fluid during orgasm, known as female ejaculation (although the jury is still out on that one.)
Named after Alexander Skene, a prominent NYC gynaecologist who had a dubious friendship with John Marion Sims, the 'father of gynaecology', and they often collaborated together. Sims is known for experimenting and operating on enslaved Black women without anaesthesia. Although we don't know much of Skene's involvement in Sim's work, we do know that he thought so highly of Sims that Skene, a keen sculptor, produced a bust of Sims.
Did you know the origin for the word, 'vagina'? It originates as a latin word for 'sheath', a cover for the blade of a sword or knife. Vulva, is latin too - originating from the word 'volvō', which literally translates as a 'wrapper', or 'to wrap'.