Vulvar Exam

All women should perform a vulvar self exam (VSE) monthly.

In a sitting position, preferably on a soft surface such as a bed, hold a mirror in one hand and:

  • Tilt the mirror until you can get a good view.
  • The other hand is used to expose the tissues surrounding the vaginal opening.
  • Adequate lighting is essential.
  • Look at the pubic area just above the vaginal opening; look for any bumps, warts, ulcers, or changes in skin colour.
  • Use fingers to feel for any bumps under the skin.
  • Look at the clitoris, the labia minora, the labia majora, and the area from the vagina back to the anus.
  • When you practice VSE you will quickly learn what is usual for you, so if anything unusual develops you'll discover it at a very early stage.
  • If any changes are discovered it is important to see your physician.
  • Partners can also be taught to do this exam.