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An introitus is the anatomical term for an opening or entrance to a hollow organ. The vaginal introitus, or the opening to the vaginal canal, is one of the most well-known examples.
The term introitus is a Latin word comprised of the parts “intro” meaning into or within, and “ire” meaning to enter or go into.
The vaginal introitus, the best known introitus, lies between the urinary opening and the anus. The hymen, a protective fold of tissue, lies across this introitus at birth, and typically stays in place until a female’s first sexual penetration.
The term introitus is most commonly used within the medical community. For example, medical journals have referenced swabbing the introitus to test for sexually transmitted diseases and changes to the introitus which can occur after childbirth. Plastic surgeons also use the term to accurately describe procedures to correct the changes which occur to a mother’s vagina after the birth of her child.