Talk:Vagina

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Three/four layers[edit]

Three/four layers seems to be just an imaginary manifestation of different ways of describing the same thing that might be found in different books or perhaps simplification in some books. I think that we should see past this and just describe the structure as it is. This would enormously simplify the description on layers and avoid duplication. The layers of the vagina are currently described three times in the article, which is excessive, because there is no controversy about the layers of the vagina. There is no more to say about three or four layers than I have said here. Snowman (talk) 20:32, 30 October 2014 (UTC)

It's not a matter of there being controversy regarding whether or not the vagina has three layers or four layers; I added both because, like I stated in the #The lead: Initially describing the vagina, fertility, etc. section above, and as is stated by the hidden note I added to the Layers, regions and histology section, "Sources differ when describing the number of vaginal layers; though three layers is the most common description, four layers are also sometimes described. Presenting both satisfies WP:Due weight, and takes care of any confusion presented to readers by discrepancies in the anatomical literature." And I reiterate that like WP:Verifiability states, "When reliable sources disagree, present what the various sources say, give each side its due weight, and maintain a neutral point of view."
Can you imagine a person reading that the vagina has four layers in an anatomy book or online at a health site, and then coming to Wikipedia and reading that it only has three layers, and then being confused, not knowing which source to believe? I can. If we simplify that material to take away "duplication," we should at least note there, like I currently do, that "Three layers, sometimes categorized as four layers, compose the vaginal walls." But regarding removing supposed duplication, it's not actually duplication when sources are describing the vagina, in detail, as having three layers, and other sources are describing it, in detail, as having four layers. Including both makes for a more comprehensive article, in my opinion, and reduces confusion, not adds to confusion. Flyer22 (talk) 23:29, 30 October 2014 (UTC)
Also, what do you mean by "The layers of the vagina are currently described three times in the article."? And if you are suggesting that we forgo mentioning any specific number for the layers of the vagina, I disagree with that, since mentioning the number of layers is standard when discussing them in anatomy texts. Flyer22 (talk) 23:47, 30 October 2014 (UTC)
I really think that the article should be written with the main aim of helping readers to understand the structures rather than giving an account of different ways to describe the layers of the vagina given by different anatomy texts. Actually, the newer versions of Gray's Anatomy appear to describe the layers as being two layers, the exact expression used in Gray's is; "The vagina has an internal mucosa layer and an outer muscular layer". This is consistent in the later editions of Gray's; although, parts of the accompanying text have amendments from edition to edition. In slightly different ways, various later editions of Gray's describe outer connective tissue, that the urethra is incorporated in the outer connective tissue, the perennial body, and peritoneal covering where relevant. Snowman (talk) 17:19, 2 November 2014 (UTC)
I don't see how naming how many layers there are, or are usually documented, is not writing the article "with the main aim of helping readers to understand the structures." The number of vaginal layers are included in anatomy books and other anatomical texts precisely to help people understand the vagina's anatomy; for example, which layer is the stratified squamous non-keratinized epithelium. The vagina is not usually described as having only two layers, so I don't think we should mention that. Flyer22 (talk) 00:37, 3 November 2014 (UTC)
Gray's Anatomy, 40th edition, page 1281, does indeed state: "The vagina has an inner mucosal and an external muscular layer." (Ironically the sentence contains a syntax error.) However the textbook also subsequently states "The muscular layers are composed of smooth muscle and consist of a thick outer longitudinal and an inner circular layer." The statement implies that the muscle section comprises of two layers, not one. (The syntax error is repeated.) Later, Gray's Anatomy continues: "A layer of loose connective tissue, containing extensive vascular plexuses, surrounds the muscle layers." This clearly implies the adventitia.
With its sloppy terminology, Gray's Anatomy cannot be relied upon to define the individual layers of the vagina. Axl ¤ [Talk] 12:33, 3 November 2014 (UTC)
I am not here to justify what Gray's has said or not said. Nevertheless, I think that Gray's gives an unambiguous account of the structure of the wall, and I am not sure what is meant above by syntax errors in Gray's. If it is in a sort of note format, so what - some books are written in note format. Clearly, different books have different ways to describe the wall of the vagina and that is not surprising. Most of the descriptions across various books appear to be describing the same layers, but using different descriptive styles. The Wiki article need only describe it one way, as long as it is accurate. Incidentally, to me, the section in 40th Gray's implies that there is one muscle layer, because it goes on to say that the muscle layers are not distinct. I know exactly what Gray's means, in its description of the muscle layers, but I think that it could be confusing to some readers. See that Gray's describes the partial peritoneal covering where the pouch of Douglas descends at the back of the cervix and upper vagina - is the mesothelium another layer here? Usually, the histology is taught with practical experience at the microscope, so it would be useful to show a micrograph of the full thickness of the vaginal wall in the Wiki article. Perhaps, histology is an "art" at this level. Snowman (talk) 15:03, 3 November 2014 (UTC)
I stand by what I stated above in this section regarding noting that the vagina has three layers, but is sometimes described as having four layers, whether we remove supposed duplication or not. And I still feel that the supposed duplication is best for our readers, per what I stated above. Perhaps others watching this talk page will weigh in on this matter instead of simply leaving us to deal with it? Either that, or I might need to specifically query WP:Anatomy and/or WP:Med to this section and the section organization debate below. Or start a WP:RfC for those matters. Flyer22 (talk) 22:08, 3 November 2014 (UTC)
You have used the words "described" above, which is different to the your invention of three or four layer classification or categorization seen in the article. The article implies that a four-layer classification is a distinct entity and the article even says; "A four-layer classification goes into greater detail: ...", which sounds like nonsense to me. The phrase in the article "Three layers, sometimes categorized as four layers, compose the vaginal walls" also suggests that there is a formal system of categorizing the layers of the vagina. There is no such entity as a "four-layer classification" nor formal ways of categorizing the layers. Snowman (talk) 23:23, 3 November 2014 (UTC)
As that section in the article shows, I used the word "sometimes categorized as four layers." Whether we the words described or categorized in this case hardly matters, since both are true. As shown by an abundance of WP:Reliable sources, seen here and here on Google Books, the vaginal walls are usually described/categorized as being composed of three layers or described/categorized as being composed of four layers; so a three or four-layer classification does indeed exist when it comes to noting the vaginal walls. And that is distinct. This source, for example, Pathology of the Vulva and Vagina, page 6, 2012, from Springer Science+Business Media, states: "Four layers are seen on histological examination of the vaginal wall." That source is currently in the Vagina article. We obviously don't have to use the "In the three-layer classification" or "A four-layer classification goes into greater detail" wording, and I have recently changed that, especially since the WP:Reliable sources don't state that, but being clear about the discrepancy is a must, in my opinion.
Again, there are WP:Reliable sources stating that the vagina has exactly three layers, while other WP:Reliable sources state that it has exactly four layers. These sources show that it is not an invention on my part. WP:Reliable sources are describing these layers in slightly different ways when they state that the vagina has three layers or that the vagina has four layers. And yet you want us to choose one or the other, state that it only has two layers, or forgo mentioning the number of layers at all? I cannot agree to that. Despite the number of hits that the Google Books search has for "The vagina has two layers" or "The vagina walls have two layers," as can be seen with those Google search results, the vagina walls are not usually described as being composed of only two layers; some of the sources in those search results state three or four layers compose the vaginal walls, just like specific searches for that terminology do. What the preponderance of WP:Reliable sources state on this matter is why I chose to note both in the article. The WP:Verifiability policy, which I linked to/noted above, is clear about what should be done in this case. I knew about the vaginal wall layer discrepancy because I am well-versed in the topic of female sex anatomy and do not stick to Gray's Anatomy for anatomy information, especially as far as female sex anatomy goes...considering the different information out there for it being far more inconsistent than anatomical information for male sex anatomy. Flyer22 (talk) 02:33, 4 November 2014 (UTC)
And I see that here, you alerted WP:Med to current matters at this talk page. Flyer22 (talk) 11:07, 4 November 2014 (UTC)
"When described as four layers, more detail is given for composition of the vaginal walls." I think that this is another unjustifiable construct that has somehow found its way into the Wiki article. I have seen some detailed descriptions in authoritative books by authors who have opted to describe the vagina in three layers, and I have seen some relatively short descriptions by authors who opted to describe the vagina in four layers. I would guess that the amount of detail provided has a positive correlation with the size of the book or the length of the relevant chapter. Snowman (talk) 18:51, 4 November 2014 (UTC)
Going by the sources I have provided above, I see nothing unjustifiable about that construct. By "more detail," I mean that a four-layer description of the vagina is obviously a more detailed description of the vagina than a three-layer description is...by simply including an extra layer; this is despite whether or not some sources describe the three or four layers in short detail or in longer detail. But either way, wording can always be tweaked; for example, I could word it as "A four-layer description of the vagina may include the following:", which is similar to what I did before (as the Vagina article's edit history shows, I've changed the wording on this aspect more than once). For this "three or four layers" matter, I am going by the WP:Reliable sources far more than my personal opinion on what they mean. The sources I have provided above show that the four-layer descriptions are longer than the three-layer descriptions. Above, you stated, "authors who have opted to describe the vagina in three [or four layers]." You are seemingly implying that it's simply a matter of an author asking, "Hmm, should I describe the vagina in three layers or in four layers?" That's not the case for a lot of these sources. A lot of these sources are clear that it's histological examination of the vagina that has shown three layers, or histological examination of the vagina that has shown four layers. And, again, the vagina walls are not usually noted as being composed of two layers. If this layers matter were so much of a choice for the authors, one would think that describing the vaginal walls as being composed of two layers would be more common than it is. Anyway, I've started a WP:RfC on this matter below, since others (except for Axl) watching this article/talk page are not weighing in on this matter and/or other things being discussed on this talk page. Flyer22 (talk) 23:45, 4 November 2014 (UTC)
Blaustein page 154 has a very detailed description which is presented as three layers. Snowman (talk) 01:48, 5 November 2014 (UTC)
And that takes away from what I stated above, how, especially since I stated, "By 'more detail,' I mean that a four-layer description of the vagina is obviously a more detailed description of the vagina than a three-layer description is...by simply including an extra layer; this is despite whether or not some sources describe the three or four layers in short detail or in longer detail"? I am not seeing how your Blaustein source takes away from what I've stated above. Flyer22 (talk) 03:17, 5 November 2014 (UTC)
But, it is not as if a four-layer description includes an extra layer that is not featured in a three-layer description. Four-layer descriptions describe the epithelium and lamina proria as two separate layers. The three-layer descriptions describe these two layers and include them in one layer called the mucosa. Hence, the layer count may be different, but overall both three- and four-layer descriptions are both describing identical vaginal walls. Snowman (talk) 10:38, 5 November 2014 (UTC)
That WP:Reliable sources describe the number of vaginal layers differently is something that should be mentioned in the Vagina article, including that those layers are usually described as three or four layers, is what I am mainly arguing for regarding this aspect of the Vagina article, regardless of how much detail we include about the matter. Flyer22 (talk) 11:15, 5 November 2014 (UTC)
Your source also states something interesting about subdivision: "Subdivision of the epithelium into layers is somewhat arbitrary but useful as it provides a basis for understanding the variable appearance of squamous cells in vaginal cytologic smears." Flyer22 (talk) 03:51, 5 November 2014 (UTC)
Of course, the epithelium is only the thin layer of cells on the very inside of the wall of vagina. Snowman (talk) 10:38, 5 November 2014 (UTC)
Not the point of the importance of subdivision. Flyer22 (talk) 11:15, 5 November 2014 (UTC)
If layers are seen, then layers can be described. Note that Blaustein does not give a count of the layers of the epithelium. Snowman (talk) 11:42, 5 November 2014 (UTC)
He does when commenting on the parabasal layer. And he does note a single layer aspect regarding the basal layer. Flyer22 (talk) 03:12, 6 November 2014 (UTC)
"I am not here to justify what Gray's has said or not said." You quoted Gray's Anatomy so I read the text.
"Nevertheless, I think that Gray's gives an unambiguous account of the structure of the wall." I strongly disagree.
"I am not sure what is meant above by syntax errors in Gray's." The issue is with the misuse of singular nouns when plural should be used. Consider the phrase "The vagina has an inner mucosal and an external muscular layer." The sentence does not describe a single layer as implied by the last word. The sentence could use the plural form—layers—but this would create ambiguity over the number of inner mucosal layers and external muscular layers. The sentence should be re-factored: perhaps "The vagina has an inner mucosal layer and an external muscular layer." Although there is repetition, it is now clear that two distinct layers are described.
"Incidentally, to me, the section in 40th Gray's implies that there is one muscle layer, because it goes on to say that the muscle layers are not distinct." Your statement is self-contradictory. The first part of the sentence describes "one muscle layer", but the latter part describes the plural "muscle layers". Gray's makes this same error. Axl ¤ [Talk] 22:22, 5 November 2014 (UTC)

RfC: Should both three and four layers be mentioned as composing the vaginal walls?[edit]

This intricate RfC would normally need some careful assessment to close, but I'm pleased to see from the end of the discussion that the principal disputants participants have reached agreement and moved on. There is nothing for a closer to do. We might quibble whether a close is strictly necessary at all, but the discussion has appeared at WP:ANRFC, so in order to remove it from the backlog there, I shall say: Resolved.S Marshall T/C 00:24, 17 December 2014 (UTC)

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

One opinion is that since many WP:Reliable sources, as seen here and here, describe the vaginal walls as being composed of three layers or four layers, we should mention both because presenting both satisfies WP:Verifiability (what it states about sources disagreeing with each other) and WP:Due weight, and takes care of any confusion presented to readers by discrepancies in the anatomical literature. This is regardless of how much detail we give both aspects. Another opinion is that the "[t]hree/four layers seems to be just an imaginary manifestation of different ways of describing the same thing that might be found in different books or perhaps simplification in some books" and that "we should see past this and just describe the structure as it is," which "would enormously simplify the description on layers and avoid duplication." And, also, that the text should be "written with the main aim of helping readers to understand the structures rather than giving an account of different ways to describe the layers of the vagina given by different anatomy texts." A counterargument to this is that naming how many layers there are, or are usually documented, is writing the article "with the main aim of helping readers to understand the structures." The number of vaginal layers are included in anatomy books and other anatomical texts precisely to help people understand the vagina's anatomy; for example, which layer is the stratified squamous non-keratinized epithelium.

For how the section in the article currently looks, see here. And for the full discussion on this matter, see the section immediately above this one on the Vagina article talk page (I provided the link for those who are viewing this from the WP:RfC page). Flyer22 (talk) 23:45, 4 November 2014 (UTC)

The only difference between descriptions of the vaginal wall in three and four layers is that the three-layer descriptions describe the mucosa as one layer and go on to describe the epithelium (stratified squamous) and the underlying connective tissue (lamina propria) as being part of the mucosa (which is correct), while the four-layer descriptions describe the epithelium and the underlying connective tissue as two separate layers (which is also correct - the two layers being part of the mucosa). I have looked at all the five sources that are currently used in the Wiki article to support text on the layers of the vagina and a few more as well. All the descriptions are describing exactly the same structures and there is no controversy about the structure of the layers of the vaginal wall. The exceptions to this are those sources that are wrong - for example, I recall seeing a source that omitted mention of the lamina propria. To me, Gray's Anatomy seems to be good in not mentioning any particular number of layers and just describing what is seen. I know exactly what to put in the Wiki article and how to write it, and I think that I would put a brief mention of different ways to describe the vaginal wall in a brief footnote. Snowman (talk) 01:48, 5 November 2014 (UTC)
Note: Snowmanradio is the other point of view I noted above, and most of his points on this matter have already been extensively addressed above. Like I told him there, this is not about controversy; it's about WP:Reliable sources disagreeing with each other; they clearly do in this case, no matter that they are largely similar. For example, the three-layer classification describes the second layer as the muscle layer, while the four layer-classification describes the third layer as the muscle layer. Snowmanradio has been partly speculating as to what sources mean on this matter and is implying that authors are asking, "Hmm, should I describe the vagina in three layers or in four layers?" Again, that's not the case for a lot of these sources. A lot of these sources are clear that it's histological examination of the vagina that has shown three layers, or histological examination of the vagina that has shown four layers. For example, I noted above: This source, Pathology of the Vulva and Vagina, page 6, 2012, from Springer Science+Business Media, states: "Four layers are seen on histological examination of the vaginal wall." That source is currently in the Vagina article, and describes the layers somewhat differently than a three-layer classification does. Snowmanradio wants the layers described in a way that I do not see as beneficial to readers, or as completely accurate; for example, the problem with using Gray's Anatomy's simplified take on the vaginal walls has been noted by another editor above. Flyer22 (talk) 03:17, 5 November 2014 (UTC)
Also see what Snowmanradio's Blaustein source (page 154) states about the importance of subdivision. Flyer22 (talk) 03:51, 5 November 2014 (UTC)
Note: I've queried fellow medical editor Bluerasberry about weighing in on this matter. He commented on a "sources state differently" matter at the Domestic violence article talk page and was very helpful. Flyer22 (talk) 05:04, 5 November 2014 (UTC)
  • I have asked User:Casliber to have a look at User Flyer22's request for comment with a message on his talk page, partly because User Casliber showed an interest in editing the anatomy content of the cervix article earlier this year. Snowman (talk) 10:29, 5 November 2014 (UTC)
I figured that you might ask him, since he is one of the editors who works well with you and doesn't clash with your editing style. Flyer22 (talk) 11:15, 5 November 2014 (UTC)
I agree that I would open somewhere with "The vagina has been described as having either three or four layers..", as it helps frame the section for the readers - (a) because it reflects how the layers are classified by many sources, and it is important to note the distinction. I also agree that it is not controversial but a matter of classification really, and (b) it helps frame the section for lay-readers. Without an overview, I worry a little that they will get a bit lost in following slab of text. Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 11:54, 5 November 2014 (UTC)
As seen here, here, here and here, I rearranged, tweaked, and removed redundancy regarding the vaginal layers aspect. The section started out describing three layers, without literally stating that there are three layers, and, well, that was redundant to the other layers material. Flyer22 (talk) 02:48, 6 November 2014 (UTC)
And, of course, not all three-layer descriptions of the vagina are going to be the same; neither are all four-layer descriptions of the vagina. The point is that they will generally be the same, and to give an example of a three-layer and four-layer composition. Flyer22 (talk) 02:58, 6 November 2014 (UTC)
Yeah that looks better - wish there was a better word than "composition"...makes me thnk of Beethoven or something...but yeah. Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 06:29, 6 November 2014 (UTC)
I thought similarly about the word composition, but I knew that I didn't want to use the word categorized again for the first sentence. And I knew that I didn't want to use the words "commonly described as being" or "described as being" because those words didn't seem to flow as smoothly to me. I knew that I wanted the word commonly used to indicate that these are the two most common layer-descriptions for the vaginal wall (or "walls"; can't decide to go with singular or plural sometimes on this matter), and that I wanted to make the "composed" factor clear. I went with composition, and figured that readers would generally understand that the word composition refers to more than music. Anyway, as seen here (followup edit here) and here, I've tweaked it to "described as composing," so that, for now, it reads as: "Three or four layers are commonly described as composing the vaginal walls." Flyer22 (talk) 08:30, 6 November 2014 (UTC)
This is also discussed under the level two heading above of which this level three heading is a subsection. Under the level two heading above, I have explained that there is no need to repeat a description of the vaginal wall twice. Consider that no other anatomy text has two systems of explaining the layers (that I am aware of). Of course, a four layer description is not necessarily more detailed than a three layered description, but the article currently says that four layer descriptions are more detailed. The key difference between a three and a four layer description is that the epithelium and the lamina propria are described as two layers in the a four layer description while, in the three layer system they are also both described, but are counted as one layer (made up of two layers) named as the mucosa. Gray's anatomy does not give a layer count, however, Gray's does provide a logical description of the layers to convey an understanding of the layers of the vagina, and I think that style is effective. The difference between a typical three and a typical four layer description could be included, perhaps in a footnote or even briefly in the main text, probably after the description of the layers of the vagina, whatever style is used for the single description. Snowman (talk) 18:41, 6 November 2014 (UTC)
Of course, three and four layer descriptions are also found for other organs, and the same difference in the count occurs where there is a mucosa. For example, see the esophagus at three layers here in the diagramme and as four layers here (quote "Structurally, the esophageal wall is composed of four layers: innermost mucosa, submucosa, muscularis propria, and adventitia. Unlike the remainder of the GI tract, the esophagus has no serosa."). I should explain that the esophagus does not have a serosa except in embryology. It was easy to find those examples for the oesophagus, I expect that more examples can probably be found for the urethra, bladder, ureter, fallopian tube, uterus, stomach, intestines (large and small), biliary tract, buccal mucosa, respiratory tract, and so on. What about providing an account of layer counts in the mucoa Wiki article, so that wikilinks can go to the Wiki mucosa page for people who want to know more about mucosa and layer counts. The oesophagus Wiki article has an uncounted description of the layers of the oesophagus, and what is wrong with that? I presume that readers of the oesophagus page will be able to understand the histology by being able to picture the layers in 3D, and will be prepared to understand other descriptions elsewhere without specific instruction or coaching. There was not any problems about using uncounted layers in the esophagus article, as far as I am aware. Why compare and contrast three and four layer descriptions in a lot of detail in the main text of the Wiki vagina article? Snowman (talk) 19:04, 6 November 2014 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── While a WP:Other stuff exists argument can be good, and I sometimes use those arguments (as also shown by my pointing to the Heart article at the #Section organization below), your WP:Other stuff exists argument in this case does not persuade me. The vast majority of people are not aware of the discrepancy when describing the vaginal layers. And I'm sure it's the same regarding the esophagus or other organs that have a discrepancy when describing the layers. Furthermore, vaginal layers are usually more of a topic than layers of the esophagus are. The Vagina article does not "[currently say] that four layer descriptions are more detailed"; it currently uses the word may (at the time of your "18:41, 6 November 2014 (UTC)" post above and now); it states, "A four-layer description of the vaginal walls may present the layers in greater detail." And I already told you in the main section above this one, "a four-layer description of the vagina is obviously a more detailed description of the vagina than a three-layer description is...by simply including an extra layer; this is despite whether or not some sources describe the three or four layers in short detail or in longer detail."

I have objected to using Gray's Anatomy for describing the number of vaginal layers, and so has Axl. I will not change my mind on use of Gray's Anatomy in this case. You asked, "Why compare and contrast three and four layer descriptions in a lot of detail in the main text of the Wiki vagina article?" I already told you, in the main section above this one, "That WP:Reliable sources describe the number of vaginal layers differently is something that should be mentioned in the Vagina article, including that those layers are usually described as three or four layers, is what I am mainly arguing for regarding this aspect of the Vagina article, regardless of how much detail we include about the matter." I am not open to your footnote or Mucoa article proposals; I want this matter acknowledged in the main text, regardless of how much detail we include about it. Expecting readers to just know the deal on this matter is insufficient, for reasons I've already explained. I am tired of repeating myself on this topic, and this WP:RfC appears busted, perhaps because of WP:Too long, didn't read and/or because WP:RfCs these days are not usually significantly rich with comments. I didn't start this WP:RfC for you and me to continue our debate; a WP:RfC is mainly meant for outside opinions. But since this WP:RfC has already become WP:Too long, didn't read, how about you propose, here in this section, wording that you would use for the section to get across the point that the layers are numbered differently? Keep in mind that two editors thus far object to the simple two-layer description that Gray's Anatomy uses for the vaginal layers. Flyer22 (talk) 04:30, 7 November 2014 (UTC)

  • Gray's Anatomy has changed a lot over the last few editions, and I have some mixed feelings about the later versions; nevertheless, I have respect for it. I tend to prefer dedicated histology books for histology rather than Gray's Anatomy partly because there are more histology illustrations in histology books. Having said that, I would say that practical experience at the microscope is important to understanding histology. I would agree with User Axle that Gray's does not present a two-layer model. Hence, I think that Gray's Anatomy presents a descriptive model (without a layer count) and not a two-layer model. I generally prefer to alert people when I am discussing their comments, but I understand from User Flyer22 that User Axl is watching this page, so I will not link his name on this occasion. I do not know if User Axl has any views on his name been linked (so he gets an alert) or not. Snowman (talk) 11:12, 7 November 2014 (UTC)
  • I would be willing to present how I would describe the histology of the wall of the vagina and compromise; however, I would think that it would be better to try to form a consensus on the science first. Snowman (talk) 13:10, 7 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Dear User Flyer22, with regards to your comment made earlier today which included the line " And I already told you in the main section above this one, "a four-layer description of the vagina is obviously a more detailed description of the vagina than a three-layer description is...by simply including an extra layer; this is despite whether or not some sources describe the three or four layers in short detail or in longer detail."". It is a little difficult for me to explain; however, I think that it is for the best, that you should be aware that this is a mistaken view and it seems to be at the core of your presentation. Lets do a little practical work: take some three-layer descriptions and use the essence of them to draw a wall of a vagina, then take some four-layer descriptions and use the essence of them to draw a wall of another vagina. If you have understood what the descriptions are saying, then the two drawings will be the same. I have done this as a thought experiment while aided by an illustration of the wall of a vagina, and found the two descriptions are the same without actually doing the drawings. If you have any problems about doing this, then I might be able to link some illustrations or slides to guide you through it. Note that, in my view, reading histology slides is a step up from reading histology books. Snowman (talk) 13:10, 7 November 2014 (UTC)
Snowmanradio, I don't see that the "obviously a more detailed description" line you quoted regarding me is a mistaken view. In some cases, we have different views on anatomical information, and certainly different views on how to present anatomical material. My style is obviously different than your style. Your style is also different than other WP:Anatomy editors' styles, as noted in the Section organization below. And in these cases, the most we can hope for is compromises. If we can't compromise, working together will not work. You've stated that you know the anatomy. I know the anatomy as well. If you stop assuming how much I know about anatomy and voicing that on the talk page, including the above implication that I must never look at histology slides, I will stop assuming how much you know about anatomy and voicing that on the talk page, including that I believe you mostly stick to Gray's Anatomy for anatomical information. I also don't see how it's difficult for you to present how you would include the aforementioned material about the discrepancy. It's easy, or fairly easy, to write up a version and post it here or in a WP:Sandbox. Flyer22 (talk) 02:34, 8 November 2014 (UTC)
  • (Lengthy) Comment I don't think that including this small discrepancy between sources is relevant or helpful to readers. An argument has been made that three layers and four layers must both be used to satisfy WP:Due weight, but the problem I see here is that there is no disagreement between the sources. All of the sources are technically correct. It's not a matter of one source having a different viewpoint from another on how many layers the vagina actually has, it's that some of them choose to count the mucosa as one layer while others instead count the mucosa's two sublayers: the epithelium and underlying connective tissue. It's not a question of the sources disagreeing with each other, it's about how much detail they chose to give on the layers, so I don't think that WP:Due weight applies. It would be helpful to have a picture like as this one (which is copyrighted) to help clear up any misconceptions from readers that have read elsewhere that the vagina has either three or four layers.
As the article stands, I found the two paragraphs to be confusing. Currently, one must read both paragraphs, then try to determine where and why the count of layers differs, because the article isn't explicitly clear about the discrepancy between the sources, or why the difference in counts is important. The reasoning behind having two largely redundant paragraphs makes sense after reading the lengthy discussion here, but that reasoning isn't made clear in the article, which leads to confusion.
The two paragraphs (one detailing three layers and another detailing four layers) should be merged for sure; I see no benefit to having two largely redundant paragraphs. I'm not sure that we need to mention that some sources count the mucosa as two layers when counting vaginal layers, except maybe as a footnote. It doesn't sound important enough to mention, given that there's no actual controversy.
I would propose something like:
"The inner layer of the vaginal canal is mucosa, which itself has two layers: a stratified squamous non-keratinized epithelium and an underlying lamina propria of connective tissue (a layer of connective tissue that is highly vascular under the base area lining the epithelium). The epithelium forms the folds or rugae and facilitate the vagina's ability to expand large enough for childbirth. The rugae are a series of ridges produced by folding of the wall of the outer third of the vagina; they are transverse epithelial ridges and their function is to provide the vagina with increased surface area for extension and stretching. Beneath the mucosa is the muscular layer, which is composed of smooth muscle fibers and situated longitudinally and circularly, and the final layer is the adventitia, which is a dense connective tissue that blends with the fascia surrounding the area. The adventitia is continuous with the other pelvic organs and is made up of blood and lymphatic vessels and fibers."
It probably still needs work though... I just quickly mashed the two paragraphs together, and removed the count info. I thought about adding the following at the start: "Three or four layers are described as composing the vaginal walls, depending on whether the source counts the mucosa as one layer, or instead counts the mucosa's sublayers (the epithium and lamina propria)." To me, that sounds extraneous, since most readers come here to learn about the subject, rather than about the irrelevant small editorial choices that various sources have made on the subject.
Hopefully that helped somewhat, rather than just adding to the confusion! kyledueck (talk) 19:37, 7 November 2014 (UTC)
I would think that 80 to 90% of your version is usable. I am thinking about how to write your specific mention of expansion for childbirth, which would also involve hormonal preparation. Any comments? I think that the image that you linked is an oesophagus, but it has suitable labeling of the relevant layers. In due course, I am hoping to find a suitable illustration of the histology of a vaginal wall. For me, a footnote about "three or four layer descriptions" is optional, but in a compromise situation it may be possible to include a brief one. Snowman (talk) 20:34, 7 November 2014 (UTC)
Kyledueck, you know that I always appreciate your take on matters. We have always worked well together on Wikipedia. As for the sources disagreeing, a discrepancy between the sources is a disagreement between sources. The word discrepancy is a synonym for "disagreement" (not always, but commonly). It seems that some of us look at the word disagreement differently in this case. On Wikipedia, disagreement between the sources does not have to mean that some sources are stating that the vaginal walls don't have four layers, and other sources are stating that the vaginal walls don't have three layers. The fact is that these sources present the vaginal layers differently, with some sources stating that histological evaluation shows three layers for the vaginal walls, while other sources state that histological evaluation shows four layers for the vaginal walls. That is why WP:Verifiability (what it states about WP:Reliable sources disagreeing) and WP:Due weight applies in this case. I am simply stating that I think we should acknowledge this discrepancy in the text; I've obviously already extensively gone over why above. I agree with significantly downsizing what I have included in the Vagina article on the matter. Your suggestion, including how you approached the discrepancy, works for me. On a side note: Since you are likely watching this talk page, I will no longer ping you to it via WP:Echo unless, of course, I feel that you perhaps are no longer watching it or might otherwise overlook something at it. Flyer22 (talk) 02:34, 8 November 2014 (UTC)
Thanks, that's nice to hear. :) I also appreciate how closely you follow the Wikipedia guidelines, your willingness to share your knowledge with others, and your tireless work here.
I do watch this page sometimes, but I also go for long periods without ever checking my watchlist, so ping away if you ever feel the need, and I'll help if I can. kyledueck (talk) 14:25, 8 November 2014 (UTC)
Thank you, Kyledueck. Do you mind going ahead and implementing your proposed changes? Flyer22 (talk) 18:40, 8 November 2014 (UTC)
Alrighty, I've updated the article as discussed above. I made a few other changes as well after consulting the sources. There are still some additions that could be made to that paragraph (epithelial glucose and its affect on vaginal ph, absence of glands, effects of sexual stimulation on lamina propria (blood engorgement causing transudation of fluid resulting in vaginal lubrication)), but I'm too tired right now, so I'm off to do less productive things. kyledueck (talk) 01:32, 10 November 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for going ahead and making the changes; however, that's not exactly what I agreed to. Remember, two editors above (me and Casliber) are for mentioning the three or four layers matter, while you and Snowmanradio are for omitting it. I agreed to your reduced text, with the following sentence included: "Three or four layers are described as composing the vaginal walls, depending on whether the source counts the mucosa as one layer, or instead counts the mucosa's sublayers (the epithium and lamina propria)." So I went ahead and made this change to your edit (followup edits here and here). As for the absence of glands part, that is covered lower in the article section at hand. Sexual stimulation matters should be covered in the Sexual activity section. And as for blood engorgement causing transudation of fluid resulting in vaginal lubrication, that is covered in the Secretions subsection of the Function section. And vaginal lubrication and other sexual effects are, of course, addressed in the Sexual activity section. Flyer22 (talk) 10:18, 10 November 2014 (UTC)
I wonder if User:Casliber has seen the new version of text and User:Kyledueck's analysis in his lengthy comment above. A simple paragraph organization could go something like; "The wall of the vagina from the lumen outwards consist of a lining of "this", then a layer of "this", then a layer of "this" and finally there is an outer covering of "this"." (I am not sure if User Casliber is watching this page or not, so I have linked his name to alert him that his opinions are being discussed or quoted). Snowman (talk) 12:07, 10 November 2014 (UTC)
I think that Casliber is watching this article/talk page; I assumed he was watching it even before you asked him to weigh in on this WP:RfC. I don't see anything to worry over regarding the current paragraph, which takes care of every editors' concerns expressed above, or a need to simplify the material any further. Remember what I stated above about compromising (my "02:34, 8 November 2014 (UTC)" post). The text is the way it is for discrepancy issues, accuracy issues and detail issues. I really don't see any need to keep debating this. As a side issue: I'm noting here that Snowmanradio removed the hidden note; I am fine with that removal. Flyer22 (talk) 12:25, 10 November 2014 (UTC)

Something like this; "The walls of the vagina from the lumen outwards consists of a mucosa of stratified squamous epithelium with underlying vascular connective tissue,[1][2] a layer of smooth muscle with bundles of circular fibers internal to longitudinal fibers, and an outer layer of connective tissue called adventitia.[2][3]"'. Snowman (talk) 12:32, 10 November 2014 (UTC)

  1. ^ Cite error: The named reference Konar was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  2. ^ a b Wylie, Linda (2005). Essential Anatomy and Physiology in Maternity Care. Elsevier Health Sciences. pp. 157–158. ISBN 0-443-10041-1. Retrieved 19 February 2014. 
  3. ^ Young, B, ed. (2006). Wheater's Functional Histology: A Text and Colour Atlas (5th ed.). Elsevier. p. 377. ISBN 978-0443068508. 
If you want the layers described only like that, without the brief mention of the three or four layers discrepancy, what is non-keratinized, where these layers are and what they do, I won't agree to it. Flyer22 (talk) 12:55, 10 November 2014 (UTC)
I should add that I put a simple description above to illustrate that describing the wall from the lumen outwards is a simple way to orientate the reader. The current description in the article is generally appropriate, except that it is a little difficult to read and external can be misunderstood to mean an outer layer and not a lining layer. I am sure that several enhancements can be made to my simple description. I am anticipating that the details of the epithelial cells will be added under this. I am not commenting on including different ways of describing the vaginal wall here. Snowman (talk) 13:34, 10 November 2014 (UTC)
Snowman, do you mean that you want to replace a sentence with your proposed text, rather than replace the whole paragraph? As in, change the sentence beginning with "The external layer of the vaginal canal is mucosa, which itself has two layers..." to "The walls of the vagina from the lumen outwards consists of a mucosa...", then leave the remaining paragraph text (including the sentence on differing counts of layers in various sources) mostly as is? If so, I think that would be an improvement over what's currently there. kyledueck (talk) 14:14, 10 November 2014 (UTC)
The existing line about the adventitia being thin and dense is good. Yes, leave in the various ways of describing the vaginal wall at this juncture? We are awaiting to see what User:Casliber thinks of the progress that we have made. If including different ways of describing the vaginal wall, is not going to be put in a footnote nor deleted, then I think that it would flow better after an uncounted description of the layers, because the reader will be more prepared and will have just being introduced to the nomenclature and will have hopefully incorporated a 3D picture of the vaginal wall in his or her mind map. Something like this could follow an uncounted description in the article; "There are other ways of describing or listing the layers of the vaginal wall; sometimes the mucosa is described as one layer and sometimes its two sub-layers (epithelium and lamina propria) are accounted separately as two layers. Hence, three- and four-layer accounts of the vaginal wall both describe the same structures." Snowman (talk) 14:48, 10 November 2014 (UTC)
It makes more sense to me to begin by noting the discrepancy; that is an adequate topic sentence. These layers are most commonly described in three or four layers, and that, in my opinion, is what we should state when noting the discrepancy, but in the way that the article currently states thanks to Kyledueck's wording. Your proposed wording is, in my opinion, unnecessary...and too wordy regarding the discrepancy. I don't see how it is easier reading. Flyer22 (talk) 15:11, 10 November 2014 (UTC)
I think that " Hence, three- and four-layer accounts of the vaginal wall both describe the same structures" is unneeded as we are obviously talking about the same structures. I am getting lost in the walls of text here too - it's getting hard to follow. Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 19:14, 10 November 2014 (UTC)
Maybe. I nearly deleted that bit before I saved it. Snowman (talk) 22:05, 10 November 2014 (UTC)
For clarification, I still prefer that the walls are the vagina are described once and I think that there is no need to provide an account of different ways to describe the vaginal walls. I think that it would be helpful to explain that vaginal mucosa consists of the stratified squamous epithelium and the underlying vascular connective tissue (lamina propria). Snowman (talk) 18:09, 12 November 2014 (UTC)
Once again, my mind won't be changing on the "three or four layers" matter, and, in my opinion, a good compromise has resulted; I want to stick with that. Flyer22 (talk) 15:23, 15 November 2014 (UTC)

Section break[edit]

Quite a lengthy discussion with many, err... layers to it ;-) I think that the current state doesn't read very well to uninformed people. It's more like a discussion than an clear explanation. How about first describing the layers, such as in the example Snowman wrote above, and then, after the layers have been described, make a remark about how different books count different layers. I think that's worthwhile explaining because one reason for people to look up vagina in an encyclopedia could be because they read about "the three layers of the vagina wall" and wonder which layers. Just to be clear, i don't propose adding or removing any content, as it was quite a labor (pun intended) to reach a consensus, just that we start by sketching the layers before going into a more academic discussion about how to count them. PizzaMan (♨♨) 00:45, 26 November 2014 (UTC)

  • Comment Only here late and only here at all because of the RFC. This is an example of what a mess results when some people don't stop to think what the reader needs and what the essentials to be described amount to. Someone describes the subject as three-layered, right? Whoops, wait; someone else said four, right? So one must be right and one must be wrong? And we must only mention the one who is right? DO us a favour!!! If a fair number of authorities say three and others say four, then as someone said (Snowman?) Three or four layers are described as composing the vaginal walls, depending on whether the source counts... If it is important in the rest of the discussion one might discuss what the respective sources had counted, for perspective at least, otherwise enough already. To omit mention would be irresponsible; some reader might be looking up that exact point, but to suggest that there is only one right way of looking at it and that that right way is only as three layers or four layers, rather than one layer or six, is nutty. Pizzaman gently suggests that we start by sketching the layers before going into a more academic discussion about how to count them, but I suggest that it wouldn't make much sense to draw what we cannot yet define. What we do have to do is to describe the organ. So we say something like: "X described three layers as SDFG which lies outside LKJH and IUYT, which lies... ... ... Y however, argued that especially in pregnancy, the outer part of SDFG constitutes a visibly distinct layer that...". We do that as constructively, clearly and succinctly as we can, and we supplement it with one or more suitably annotated illustrations if available. In short, if citeworthy sources differ we show what we can, as helpfully as we can, including whatever perspective we can offer. If not, we show a digest of what is offered, but bear in mind that the prime objective is that the intelligently interested reader leaves with a functional idea of what is clear concerning the organ, and of what is arguable. What anyone else thinks is beyond our power to do anything useful about. JonRichfield (talk) 07:09, 26 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Incidentally the current, rather good, photo of the vulva in this article is poorly labelled (eg one "labia", and in any case with English labels). I am tempted to edit it to numerical or single-letter labels and put the legend into the description of the picture so that it is easier to edit and so that articles in other languages can easily use the photo. Any reactions? JonRichfield (talk) 07:09, 26 November 2014 (UTC)
Hey, PizzaMan and JonRichfield. I appreciate you weighing in. I won't ping you to this discussion after this because I assume that you will check back here if you want to read replies. I am familiar with PizzaMan from this discussion at the Emily Kinney talk page; I take it that you followed me here from there, PizzaMan? And I am familiar with JonRichfield from other anatomy sex topics -- Vulva, Penis and Human penis. I don't understand how the current version of the Vagina article regarding the "three or four layers" aspect of the vaginal walls "doesn't read very well to uninformed people," PizzaMan; what the current version does is state "Three or four layers are described as composing the vaginal walls, depending on whether the source counts the mucosa as one layer, or instead counts the mucosa's sublayers (the epithelium and lamina propria)," and then goes into explaining the layers. Uninformed people won't understand this material much anyway. How will it help to note the "three or four layers" aspect after we explain the layers? Keep in mind what I and others have stated above. And, JonRichfield, regarding your query about what Snowmanradio stated, it has been me who has been arguing that we should mention the three or four layers aspect; Snowmanradio has been against mentioning it. As for your query about the image, feel free. Flyer22 (talk) 15:15, 26 November 2014 (UTC)
To be honest, i don't recall how i ended up here, but it probably had to do with you. Then again, i'm a health care professional, so it's not really a coincidence. Anyway, in my opinion the part would read better if the layers were first introduced and only then going into a discussion about the difference between how a 3-layer or a 4-layer system tag them. Something like this:
The walls of the vagina from the inside outwards are a mucosa of non-keratinized stratified squamous epithelium with an underlying lamina propria of connective tissue, secondly a layer of smooth muscle with bundles of circular fibers on the inside and longitudinal fibers on the outside and thirdly an outer layer of connective tissue called (tunica) adventitia. Some sources distinguish four layers by counting both the mucosa's epithelium and lamina propria sublayers.
i put the non-keratinized in front of stratified squamous epithelium, because SSE is a common term. I also added tunica because i like it ;-) (actually because adventitia just means "outer" so leaving out the layer noun isn't very elegant imho). And maybe i'm trying to make it too layman friendly, but why not call the lumen the inside? @JonRichfield there is already a picture with numbers [1] since the line points to a single labium, i agree it should either say labium minora or point to both. I have no preference.PizzaMan (♨♨) 18:03, 26 November 2014 (UTC)
OK folks, particularly @Flyer22 and @PizzaMan and presumably @Snowmanradio, firstly my apologies for apparently mixing up sources and intentions. Put that down to weakness or want of sense, but absolve me of bad intent!. Secondly, with that point settled, I don't think I have more to offer than the excessive paragraph I already have inflicted too hurrieldy to condense or clarify it. Thirdly, thanks for the lead to the numbered version; that will save a bit of PT. I'll have a go. Thanks and cheers! JonRichfield (talk) 18:57, 26 November 2014 (UTC)
PizzaMan, I can be fine with your proposal, but I think that, like the article already states, we should state "sublayers" instead of "separate layers." As for "non-keratinized stratified squamous epithelium," I agree with that use and have changed the text to that. I think that the reason Kyledueck might have placed "non-keratinized" after "stratified squamous epithelium" is so that it's clear that "keratinized" is a separate link and is not a part of the stratified squamous epithelium link. That is, if there was any thought on Kyledueck's part regarding that. Unless I'm remembering incorrectly, there used to be (or still is) something in the WP:Manual of Style or its subpage about linking concerning linking terms in a way that makes it seem as though the terms are one link. As for layterms, I am fine with using those, as long as we also clarify the technical terms when it makes sense to do so; so, for example, use the technical term and place the layterm in parentheses.
JonRichfield, no problem; you confused Snowmanradio's view, but I don't see where you mixed up sources. And, again, I appreciate that you weighed in. Flyer22 (talk) 19:31, 26 November 2014 (UTC)
For convenience, i changed it to sublayers in the italic proposal above, i hope this is what you meant. Let's let the discussion stand a little while so anyone can object.PizzaMan (♨♨) 10:29, 27 November 2014 (UTC)
I have been busy, but I have kept up-to-date with the discussion on my smartphone. I have a brief time at my computer today for a little editing. I would say that there has not been a consensus in this discussion before, so I would regard anything on this topic that has appeared on the main page as in intermediate or temporary version. I think that there is no need to mention three of four layers at all. A modern Gray's Anatomy just describes the wall without doing any counting, so why not do it that way? The only thing I would say to acknowledge differences in counting layers is to say that the mucosa consists of the epithelium and a lamina propria. After that, for me, the least worst option is to mention three of four layers after the description the walls of the vagina briefly. Perhaps, a diagram or micrograph of the full thickness of the vaginal wall will assist readers. Incidentally, the vaginal wall also has part peritoneal covering in relation to the pouch of Douglas. I hope to return to this discussion after a few weeks when I have more time; however, it seems to me that a consensus is very likely to be achieved in the near future while I am away. Snowman (talk) 13:14, 27 November 2014 (UTC)
There is WP:Consensus (based not only on the number of supportive comments, but on the strength of the arguments) in this discussion to mention the "three or four layers" aspect; JonRichfield is the latest editor to agree with me on mentioning it. So far, you are the only one protesting against it. And you keep mentioning the Gray's Anatomy description, even though Axl has sufficiently explained why the Gray's Anatomy description is not ideal. I and others above have explained why the "three or four layers" aspect should be mentioned. I told you that I won't be changing my mind on that. And feeling that it should be mentioned has nothing to do with not understanding the anatomy, as you seem to repeatedly imply. I have compromised with you enough on this topic. Compromising does not mean fully getting one's way; nor does it mean a temporary solution in this case. I won't be repeating myself on this topic anymore; how I feel about it is made explicitly clear above. Flyer22 (talk) 13:52, 27 November 2014 (UTC)

I went ahead and boldly made the edit. While editing i felt i could do much better, so my apologies for not sticking to what i wrote above. To be honest, i'm actually pretty pleased with how i formulated it. I hope everyone agrees this is an improvement. As to numbering the layers, many books do, so Snowmanradio, please just consider it a service to our readers. Wikipedia should provide an answer to the question "what are the three/four layers of the vaginal wall". Note that, as far as i'm concerned, it would be an option to leave out the whole four layers sentence. The books in my bookshelf define three layers, which i think is the proper way. On a sidenote, does the muscularis layer not contain blood vessels? Kind of surprises me.PizzaMan (♨♨) 17:00, 27 November 2014 (UTC)

I changed it to what you and I agreed on, but with minor changes. To me, this version (what I changed it to is cleaner and reads easier). For one, per everything I've stated above on the matter, I don't think we should begin the paragraph by naming exactly three layers. For two, I'm not a fan of single-sentence paragraphs; see MOS:Paragraphs. For three, I think this all fits well in one paragraph. Flyer22 (talk) 21:56, 27 November 2014 (UTC)
And as you can see here, Kyledueck altered your use of "inside" to "lumen." Flyer22 (talk) 23:49, 27 November 2014 (UTC)
You also reverted all the corrections i made to histological and grammatical flaws that the rest of the section had and removed the additions i made. I'm not going to point out all the flaws you reintroduced or argue about them. I based the structure of how i wrote it (starting with one simple sentence about the layers before going into details) on several well written books in my bookshelf. But since my attempt to interject my expertise isn't appreciated, i'm done investing time in this article. Have fun with it. For the record this is the version i wrote, the rugae section still needed improvement:
The wall of the vagina consists of three layers: the outer adventitia, the muscularis and the inner mucosa. Some sources distinguish four layers by counting both the mucosa's sublayers.[15][16] The adventitia is a dense connective tissue that blends with the fascia surrounding the area, and contains blood vessels, lymphatic vessels and nerve fibers.[17] The muscularis layer consists of inner bundles of circular smooth muscle fibers and outer bundles of longitudinal fibers.[18] The mucosa layer consists of non-keratinized stratified squamous epithelium with an underlying lamina propria of connective tissue. The lamina propria is rich in blood vessels and lymphatic channels. It contains dendritic cells, which can function as antigen presenting cells, providing a route of transmission for HIV.[19]
The epithelium is highly distensible and organised in folds or rugae[15] to facilitate the vagina's ability to expand extensively for childbirth.[17] The rugae are a series of ridges produced by folding of the wall of the outer third of the vagina; they are transverse epithelial ridges and their function is to provide the vagina with increased surface area for extension and stretching.
PizzaMan (♨♨) 08:53, 28 November 2014 (UTC)
I am happy with describing the walls as three or four layers as long it is not confused by describing both three and four layers. Describing the vagina as three layers is fine by me. I think that User:PizzaMan's version above is an excellent guide which will be useful and understandable for all interested readers. Two questions: Are the rugae more marked in the lower half of the vagina with some present in the upper half of the vagina or only present in the lower half? (see one of the diagrams of the page which shows rugae in the upper half of the vagaia). Do you need to mention some oblique muscles between the longitudinal and circular layers of muscle? (this could be a footnote). Referring to a remark on blood vessels earlier up the page, I have not got time to look at some slides for the presence of blood vessels in the muscles layers, but I would anticipate that small blood vessels will be present. I hope to return to editing more regularly after about three or four weeks. Snowman (talk) 10:27, 28 November 2014 (UTC)
As this part is the histology section, including cell types looks fine to me, but it may be better not mention HIV transmission here leaving it to be described in more detail in a clinical section possible on a linked Wiki page. The word "transmission" here could be interpreted to me transmission from the female to the male, from the male to female, or both. I understand that it is easier for a woman to catch aids from a man than a man from a woman. Snowman (talk) 10:40, 28 November 2014 (UTC)
PizzaMan, reverting you does not mean that you are not appreciated here. I reverted simply for the reasons I stated above, which is that I feel that it is cleaner and because it is the text you and I had agreed on. Now I see that your version removed any mention of four layers, despite the fact that many reliable sources define the layers that way, and the valid reasoning given above for mentioning this discrepancy in anatomical literature. Editors in this discussion have disagreed on wording aspects, so we should at least be in agreement on them or have made an adequate compromise on them. You were not clear about any of your edits in your edit summaries; in fact, you didn't use edit summaries. I figured that you had simply structured the section based on your personal preferences (which is how you made it seem in your "17:00, 27 November 2014 (UTC)" post above), especially given that the terminology can be different based on whatever reliable book or other reliable anatomy text it is. What you refer to as errors can simply be the book's way of wording things differently than you do. Snowmanradio and I have compared books on this talk page, books that word things differently than we would. And, Axl, for example, finds the modern Gray's Anatomy book regarding the vaginal walls flawed. Additionally, as noted above, where you prefer to state "inside," Kyledueck prefers to state "lumen." You referred to the "several well written books in [your] bookshelf." Mind listing the names of those books, and the page numbers in question, and directly using them as sources in this article? If we are going to word things differently than the sources do for the section in question, then that wording should be supported by the sources. I have various well-written books on my bookshelf regarding anatomy, especially female sex anatomy, and I can list some of those here. But as Snowmanradio has noted, histology slides can also be helpful; anatomy books are not the only place to get anatomy information. It is especially helpful if a person has had hands-on experience with anatomical-based dissection, as I have, and I don't mean middle or high school dissection. Yes, it would be good to list here in this discussion what you think are errors so that we can compare what you state to what the different reliable book sources state. And I agree with Snowmanradio that it is best not to mention HIV transmission in the section in question. That is best left for the Diseases subsection of the Clinical significance section. Flyer22 (talk) 15:38, 28 November 2014 (UTC)

Thank you for your kind response. I agree with using lumen and leaving out HIV in the anatomy section. The book that describes the anatomy the clearest is imho Marieb, because it combines anatomy, physiology and histology in one holistic explanation. I only have an older fourth edition, so i doubt it's cool to cite that, but page 1050-1051. The improvements that i would propose over the current version: PizzaMan (♨♨) 18:08, 28 November 2014 (UTC)

  • it's better for readability imho to start with a very simple sentence that just names the three layers, without immediately going into all kinds of details such as sublayers. PizzaMan (♨♨) 18:08, 28 November 2014 (UTC)
Not sure, because this might be too simple. Snowman (talk) 13:30, 30 November 2014 (UTC)
  • the next logical step is to go through all the layers once in more detail. Currently the first sentence is so long that it's a half attempt to already go into all kinds of details, so the section kind of goes through the layers twice PizzaMan (♨♨) 18:08, 28 November 2014 (UTC)
It may be better to describe the layers once in adequate detail. Snowman (talk) 13:30, 30 November 2014 (UTC)
  • i find it to flow better to mention the rugae after explaining the layers. It's also a more logical order of explaining things from the ground up PizzaMan (♨♨) 18:08, 28 November 2014 (UTC)
Agreed. Snowman (talk) 13:30, 30 November 2014 (UTC)
  • epithelium is singular, facilitate plural. Or should it say "the epithelium forms folds or rugae THAT facilitate the vagina's ability to expand" ("that" in stead of "and") PizzaMan (♨♨) 18:08, 28 November 2014 (UTC)
The mucosa forms folds, because the rugae include the epithelium and the lamina propria. Snowman (talk) 13:30, 30 November 2014 (UTC)
  • the "or rugae" should be between commas. Now the sentence could be interpreted that the epithelium forms folds in one place and rugae in a different place (or in a different women). (i previously missed that one) PizzaMan (♨♨) 18:08, 28 November 2014 (UTC)
If you are confused about the grammar then a person whose first language is English will be able to correct any minor readability problems. Snowman (talk) 13:30, 30 November 2014 (UTC)
  • That sentence about rugae now doesn't emphasize how the vaginal wall is extremely distensible compared to other tissues, just that it can let a child pass and then lets the reader do the math. PizzaMan (♨♨) 18:08, 28 November 2014 (UTC)
I would think that hormonal preparation leading up childbirth also extensively modifies the vagina, so perhaps your point is a bit of a red herring or a little out of context. The rugae are transverse, so the extensibility is logically on the longitudinal direction only. Snowman (talk) 13:30, 30 November 2014 (UTC)
  • i don't understand how the rugae are caused by folding of the "outer third". What third? Third layer? And isn't it the inner layer(s) that fold? This sentence is incomprehensible to someone who doesn't already know the anatomy. PizzaMan (♨♨) 18:08, 28 November 2014 (UTC)
The rugae are more pronounced in the superficial third of the vagina (the third nearest to the vaginal opening). Snowman (talk) 13:30, 30 November 2014 (UTC)
  • i had added the point that not only the rugae, but also the distensibility of the epithelium itself contribute to expansion for allowing a baby to pass the vagina (ref: Marieb 4e, p1050 if it's not mentioned in the other refs) PizzaMan (♨♨) 18:08, 28 November 2014 (UTC)
Of course, but this may need hormonal preparation. Snowman (talk) 13:30, 30 November 2014 (UTC)
  • can you explain the difference between the base area and the lamina propria to me? I was taught histology in a different language, so i'm not very familiar with the english terms, but to me they're both non-cellular layers. The WP articles on them don't describe the relationship between the two either. Anyway, i left out these layers (which i presume aren't cell layers), because after naming and numbering the layers, introducing new stowaway layers is confusing. PizzaMan (♨♨) 18:08, 28 November 2014 (UTC)
I presume that you mean the "basement membrane" and the "lamina propria". The basement membrane is a complex structure or matrix under EM. Under LM is is a thin line just visible between the epithelium and the lamina propria. The lamaia propria is the connective tissue layer between the epithelium and the muscle layer. Snowman (talk) 13:30, 30 November 2014 (UTC)
  • You must have missed it, but the second sentence of my edited version was all about the four layer denomination. PizzaMan (♨♨) 18:08, 28 November 2014 (UTC)
A four layer description is not needed if the three layer description is given first. The two are the same, but the layers are described differently. Snowman (talk) 13:30, 30 November 2014 (UTC)
  • like i said, tunica or (tunica) should be added to adventitia, because adventitia just means "outer" so leaving out the layer noun isn't very elegant for anyone who actually understands what it means. PizzaMan (♨♨) 18:08, 28 November 2014 (UTC)
Could mention both adventitia and tunica, but I think that adventitia is the conventional word, so it should take priority. Snowman (talk) 13:30, 30 November 2014 (UTC)

I'd estimate this is about 2/3 of what i came across when rewriting. Perhaps i should have listed every motivation for every change separately while editing. I didn't go through all the books i previously used again for this list, just Marieb. I'll leave it to you: we could either replace the current version with my version with suggested improvements, or inject some of the improvements in this list in the article (insofar as you agree with them), with the risk of losing a few minor motivations for improvements that i couldn't recollect. (Edit: changed the tone because it could come across unkind) PizzaMan (♨♨) 18:08, 28 November 2014 (UTC)

I would be interested to know what is your first language. Also, what language is Marieb in? Snowman (talk) 13:30, 30 November 2014 (UTC)
I'm Dutch. Marieb is English. When I learnt anatomy it was mostly in Dutch, but I preferred Marieb because I just found it better written. But for histology I did have to use a Dutch book. PizzaMan (♨♨) 22:49, 30 November 2014 (UTC) Oh and like i said, i'm not going to invest more time in this article. I'm not going to argue about each point i listed. Feel free to do with my advise as you want. PizzaMan (♨♨) 20:09, 2 December 2014 (UTC)
Sorry for the delayed response, PizzaMan; as you might have already seen, I did note here that I would reply again at a later date. What Marieb anatomy book are you referring to? One by Elaine Nicpon (N.) Marieb? What's the exact title of the book? As for the age of the book, anatomy matters usually remain the same (except for new discoveries), and so older anatomy books are usually fine to use (though I prefer not to use very old ones, and generally stick to using ones within the last ten or so years). I've stated on this talk page before, though, that sources are not always consistent with aspects of female sex anatomy, since male sex anatomy has been studied far more than female sex anatomy has and there have not been as many researchers trying to obscure things about male sex anatomy as there have been trying to obscure things about female sex anatomy. So I definitely generally stick to newer sources for female sex anatomy.
You stated above that you think it's best if we "start with a very simple sentence that just names the three layers, without immediately going into all kinds of details such as sublayers.", but I don't see why that is best. And Snowmanradio above stated on that proposal, "Not sure, because this might be too simple." You also stated, "the next logical step is to go through all the layers once in more detail. Currently the first sentence is so long that it's a half attempt to already go into all kinds of details, so the section kind of goes through the layers twice." Snowmanradio above stated on that proposal, "It may be better to describe the layers once in adequate detail." Regarding how the section was prior to your commenting on this talk page and how it is now (I do think that setup is an improvement thanks to you), I don't see any problem with simply noting the structural components, and then going into detail about them...which is what the section currently does. This is also what some of the anatomy books in that section do. It's not so much of a "go through the layers twice" matter. It's noting them, that they may be presented differently depending on the source, and then explaining them. I don't see the first sentence as "so long," but it can obviously be broken up. Flyer22 (talk) 19:47, 6 December 2014 (UTC)
No problem, i just broke my record by responding to an almost ten year old question on a Dutch talk page ;-) Yes it's called "Human anatomy & physiology, fourth edition" by Elaine N. Marieb, ISBN 0-201-52263-2. And indeed, in anatomy there's no reason to discard older books. Only reason to use the very old ones is because they're out of copyright. Your point about some people trying to obscure our understanding of female genital anatomy is very interesting, and should imho be mentioned in the article if we can find a reference about it.
The section has been improved lately, but i still think it needs some work. Some of that is personal preference, such as going into micro-anatomy before starting about the rugae. And i still think that introducing the non-cellular layers as extra layers that suddenly pop up is confusing and should be done clearer or, even better, not at all, because it's not very relevant to go into every non-cellular layer and if we would there are more non-cellular layers to consider. I also still think that the distensibility of the epithelium should be mentioned as a second mechanism to facilitate stretching for childbirth and that the two sentences about the rugae seem to contain some double information and are confusing. In short, i still think that the version i wrote was better, to be honest. But hey, i'm just repeating myself here. I made one small edit about the adventitia, because that was really just incorrect. For the rest i'm leaving it up to you. But whatever happens in this talk page, let's all please not talk about red herrings in here ;-p PizzaMan (♨♨) 22:47, 8 December 2014 (UTC)
Regarding this recent edit you made concerning tunica and adventitia, you are referring to a recent edit I made. I see that at "18:08, 28 November 2014 (UTC)" and "13:30, 30 November 2014 (UTC)" above, you and Snowmanradio disagreed on how to present that information. I think this particular topic (tunica adventitia) is also a matter of how sources differ on presentation. Like Snowmanradio noted above, it's common to simply state "adventitia." But I can see why you think we should state "tunica adventitia." As for red herrings, you're referring to what Snowmanradio stated in his "30 November 2014 (UTC)" post about one of your suggestions above. I agree with you that we should cease that type of talk. I don't think that Snowmanradio was trying to be unpleasant to you, but I can see how that comment gave you an unpleasant feeling. Flyer22 (talk) 23:21, 8 December 2014 (UTC)
It's just that leaving out the noun (tunica) and just using the adjective (adventitia) is sloppy use of the latin language and illogical for people who understand the actual meaning of the words. You wouldn't call it the "outer" in english, but the "outer layer". The red herring bit was an (obviously failed) attempt at humor. Like i said, i'm not going to argue about each point i made about the current version. I injected what expertise i could bring to the table and i'll leave it up to the other editors like you whether there's useful points in there. I've already had my share of lengthy debates recently. PizzaMan (♨♨) 11:20, 9 December 2014 (UTC)
User PizzaMan may be correct with the Latin, but he is mistaken about the use of the word "adventita" in the English language. The page is in English and not in Latin. Adventitia is an English noun word and there is no need to use the suffix tunica. Adventitia is a noun in English; see the OED, which says that this noun word has been in use in English since 1838 or earlier. Further, I would say that this use of "tunica adventitia" is inconsistent as the muscularis could be called the Latin names tunica muscularis and the mucosa could be called tunica mucosa. Incidentally, I have not noticed much humour in this talk page so far. I probably should have said "somewhat misleading or not entirely logical" instead of "red herring" above, partly because "red herring" may not translate from English to other languages very well. Snowman (talk) 09:37, 15 December 2014 (UTC)
Regarding the humor bit, PizzaMan was stating that his "22:47, 8 December 2014 (UTC)" comment about red herrings was an attempt at humor. Flyer22 (talk) 10:23, 15 December 2014 (UTC)
Retrospectively, I think I see User PizzaMan's humour now. Should foreign bodies and body cavity search be included in the article? I should add that I know nearly nothing about these topics except for retained tampons. Snowman (talk) 11:17, 15 December 2014 (UTC)
LOL, yeah, I noticed what he meant (or what I think he is talking about) just today when replying to you about it. For all the "smart" compliments I can get, I can be pretty slow/dense sometimes. And, yes, I think we should include the topic of body cavity search in the article, either in the Clinical significance section or the Society and culture section. Which section do you think would be best to put that content in? I'm also fine this edit you made to the section we are currently discussing. I disagreed with your use of "books" in place of "sources," though, since, like I stated in this edit, "it's not just book sources that list four layers, just like it's not just book sources that list three layers." So I went with "texts" in place of "books." Flyer22 (talk) 20:41, 15 December 2014 (UTC)

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I realised the difficulty about using the word "books" when I was writing it, however I thought that it got the message across. Using "authors" instead of books or texts would also work. I would think that body cavity search is nearly always forensic, so I would not put it in the medical section. Retained tampax is a medical topic and is a cause of discharge. Incidentally, I thought that the Wiki article "body cavity search" is quite informative, but I have not checked the sources at this juncture. Snowman (talk) 22:13, 15 December 2014 (UTC)
Gosh; I think that the three/four layer issue has been resolved now. Does anyone else think it has been resolved? Snowman (talk) 22:28, 15 December 2014 (UTC)
Yes, it's resolved for me. Flyer22 (talk) 22:41, 15 December 2014 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.


As a post scriptum, i think the anatomy section is greatly improved in its current state. PizzaMan (♨♨) 15:35, 19 December 2014 (UTC)

  • I think that this particular paragraph is a lot better now. However, there is still a lot to do elsewhere on the page. If User:PizzaMan or anyone else would like to consider the organization of sections and the page, then discussions have been started below. I look forward to seeing those discussions advanced. Snowman (talk) 21:26, 20 December 2014 (UTC)

Why does "paracolpium" redirect here?[edit]

Word not used in article. 109.157.79.50 (talk) 23:47, 3 February 2015 (UTC)

Introitus[edit]

Some mention should be made of the introitus (or at least the term) at Vagina#Vaginal_opening_and_hymen, should there not? I wasn't sure how best to explain it, though. AbuseResearcher (talk) 19:02, 25 March 2015 (UTC)

AbuseResearcher (talk · contribs), since the the vaginal introitus is the vaginal opening, it's already covered there. So I take it that this is why you pointed to that section and suggested "or at least the term." I added the term there, but I don't see a need to link to the two-sentence Introitus article. Flyer22 (talk) 22:53, 25 March 2015 (UTC)
I wonder how much potential there is for expansion of that introitus article. For example, if memory serves, the introitus is often what people's complaints center around with regard to vaginal laxity. AbuseResearcher (talk) 01:46, 26 March 2015 (UTC)
We should not have the Introitus article focus heavily on the vaginal introitus. If the vaginal introitus topic is to be expanded, it should be in the Vagina article. And with good WP:MEDRS-compliant sources unless the text is a non-medical, cultural matter. Because there is not a lot of information out there exclusively about the vaginal opening, there is no need for a Vaginal introitus article, which is why, in May 2013, I redirected the Vaginal orifice article to the Vagina article. Like I just stated at WP:Med of the Vaginal laxity article you created, "I'm not a fan of unnecessary WP:Content forking. I will almost always choose consolidation unless a WP:Spinout article is truly needed." And if the topic of vaginal laxity needs expansion, we clearly have articles for that...as noted at WP:Med. Flyer22 (talk) 03:30, 26 March 2015 (UTC)
Putting a lot more information about the vaginal introitus in the vagina article might lead to undue weight concerns. On the other hand, the introitus information out there mostly pertains to the vaginal introitus. If there's not much potential for expansion of the introitus article beyond a couple sentences, then it would be a good candidate for being converted into a redirect, or simply being a Wiktionary entry. AbuseResearcher (talk) 03:33, 27 March 2015 (UTC)
AbuseResearcher (talk · contribs), you are not new to editing Wikipedia (you've edited Wikipedia under different registered accounts and have returned under a new account); I basically noted this at WP:Med. So you should therefore know that adding more about the vaginal introitus to the Vaginal opening and hymen section of the Vagina article, a section that is supposed to focus on the vaginal opening and hymen, is not a violation of WP:Undue weight. You went ahead and expanded the Introitus article to be mostly about the vaginal introitus, despite what I stated above. You also added "The term usually refers, however, to the vaginal orifice," without any WP:Reliable source supporting that statement. And despite what I stated about WP:MEDRS, you continue to add poor sources. Do read what it states about WP:Primary sources and other sources. I will go ahead and revert your vaginal introitus material; if you want it restored, you should add better sources for it; look to book sources on Google Books. And if it is restored, it should be merged into the "Vaginal opening and hymen" section, but not with those poor sources. And the STI/STD material will belong in the Infections and disorders section of the Vagina article. Flyer22 (talk) 03:49, 27 March 2015 (UTC)
And, yes, I agree that the Introitus article should be a Wiktionary entry. Flyer22 (talk) 04:00, 27 March 2015 (UTC)

Note: AbuseResearcher is a WP:Sockpuppet of a WP:Banned editor, and the AbuseResearcher account is now indefinitely blocked; see here. Flyer22 (talk) 21:39, 27 March 2015 (UTC)