It’s very important that we ourselves keep an eye on our bodies. Never leave your health in someone else’s hands completely. Know your own body! You might want to check out this info as to how to examine the vulva from the University of Michigan.
Just as you would examine your breasts or skin for changes, you should examine your vulva. Many diseases of the vulva have similar symptoms. This vulvar self-exam will help you to be aware of any changes in the vulvar area that may need ongoing evaluation.
Some changes in the vulva may mean cancer. Learning how to do a vulvar self-exam can best accomplish this. ”Your private area should remain private but not to YOU,” as one author, Dr. E. Stewart, quotes from her excellent book, ‘The V Book.
1. Wash your hands carefully before you begin. Lie or sit up in a comfortable position with good lighting and a hand mirror (a magnifying mirror may work best). It may help to prop up your back with pillows, or you can squat or kneel. Finding a comfortable position is important so you can clearly see the vulvar area, perineum, and anus. First, just look and learn. Things may appear different from what you expect, and that does not necessarily mean they are abnormal.
2. Gently separate the outer lips of the vulva. Look for any redness, swelling, dark or light spots, blisters, bumps or other unusual colors. (Be especially aware of fusing or adhesions of the smaller labial lips that look like they’re ‘melting’ or disappearing.)
3. Next, separate the inner lips and look carefully at the area between them for the same changes. Also, look at the entrance of the vagina.
4. Gently pull back the skin or the hood covering the clitoris and examine the area under the hood at the tip of the clitoris. (That can fuse as well as the smaller labial lips.
5. Be sure also to inspect the area around the urethra, the perineum, the anus, the outside of the labia majora and the mons pubis. (The Urethra can narrow occasionally as well, and you may find yourself ‘spraying’ all over when you urinate. Several women had to be catheterized regularly and the Estrace cream definitely helped eliminate that.)