Reference Work Entry

Blaustein’s Pathology of the Female Genital Tract

pp 105-154

Diseases of the Vagina

  • Richard J. ZainoAffiliated withDepartment of Pathology, H179, M.S. Hershey Medical Center Email author 
  • , Marisa NucciAffiliated withBrigham Women’s Hospital, Women’s Department of Pathology
  • , Robert J. KurmanAffiliated withDepartments of Gynecology, Obstetrics, Pathology and Oncology, Division of Gynecologic Pathology, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine


The vagina, like other orifices that interface between the external environment and the interior milieu, acts as a barrier to many potentially invasive microorganisms. It is, thus, not surprising that the vagina is the site of a variety of infections, both sexually and nonsexually transmitted, and this, in fact, represents the predominant type of pathology of this organ. In contrast, neoplasms are relatively unusual in this site, which is somewhat unexpected in view of the relationship between infection (e.g., human papilloma virus infection) and the development of carcinoma of the vulva and cervix.