A self-exam of your vulva (the vulva is the external genitals, made up of the labia majora, the labia minora, and the clitoris) can be useful in understanding what is normal in appearance for your vulva.
Becoming familiar with the appearance and feeling of your vulva will ensure a better connection to your intimate parts and yourself. And if abnormalities do develop in the future, you'll also notice. Everyone’s vagina will look slightly different as far as color, shape, and size. That’s why a “healthy” vagina may look slightly different for everyone.
You've probably already been told how important it is to conduct a self-examination of your breast regularly but we believe this routine is a beautiful and important one to consider. A vaginal self-exam is a smart way to get to know your body. You’ll be more familiar with what your vagina looks like and be able to identify obvious symptoms of a problem.
The best time to do a self examination is in between your menstrual periods. If you are no longer menstruating, you should set a regular date on which to perform a vulva self-exam.
You need only few things to perform the self-examination: a private space where you won't be interrupted, and a mirror. You can consider using a sensitive oil for your fingers to get thing more gliding and soft.
Getting setup - make sure the mirror is within reach, take a seat on the couch, bed, or floor and support your back with pillows. Bend your knees so the soles of your feet are flat on the floor. Then, put them as close to your bottom as possible. Lean back and spread your knees. Your genital area should now be exposed. Examine by holding the mirror in front of your vulva. Observe the different areas and touch them with your finger. Pay attention to their appearance, texture, and sensitivity. Use your fingers to spread open the inner labia. The inner walls of the vagina have ridges on the surface. These folds are known as “rugae.” Generally, the only time the vaginal canal is relatively smooth in texture is before puberty and after menopause. Observe the discharge inside your vagina — you can stick a finger inside to take a sample. The texture changes depending on where you are in your cycle, so roll and stretch it between your thumb and forefinger to assess the consistency.
Red or inflamed vulvar skin may indicate irritation from feminine products, tight workout clothes, laundry detergent, abrasive activities like cycling, or sexual activity. Discontinue use of any products that might be causing you irritation, or take a break from specific activities to see if things start to feel better after a few days. If not, give your doctor a call.
While we’re all about spending more face time with your vagina, it’s important to keep in mind that a self-exam should not replace one administered by a gynaecologist or women’s health practitioner. Only clinicians can determine the detailed health of your vagina. The appearance of your vulva can change slightly throughout the month. If you notice any changes that you’re concerned about, bring them up at your next gynecological appointment.
An important part of how to do a vaginal self-examination is familiarization. While you are examining the different parts of your vulva, take note of what’s normal for you. Please understand that the normal color, size, and shape, differ from one woman to another. Additionally, it also depends on the situation. When you’re aroused, for instance, the labia and the clitoris may swell. We'll suggest getting familiar with your own anatomy between appointments. For your own wellbeing, curiosity and pleasure. We are working on a gentle self examination audio guide that we can't wait to share with you.
But for now — enjoy the view and take good care of what it reflects.