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.