While not suggested by medical specialists, some girls give themselves cervical and vaginal self-exams. Supporters of these exams say they help women learn what is normal, allowing women to more quickly recognize changes — a way which you can get to know your own body better. A self-exam doesn’t replace your yearly professional pelvic exam, through that the Pap smear and other tests can detect important microscopic alterations.
If you’re concerned about cervical cancer or human papillomavirus (HPV), you should see a medical professional rather than attempting to examine yourself.
A vaginal self-exam is not the same as a vulvar evaluation. When using the expression’vagina,’ many people think of their external genitals; nonetheless, analyzing the outside area will be performing a vulvar examination. Vulvar tests are easier to perform and may detect physical abnormalities which could be brought on by genital herpes or HPV. If you see something abnormal on or near your vulva or labia, you should follow up with your doctor for proper testing.
How to Do A Self-Exam
- you’ll require a strong light like a flashlight, a mirror, a vaginal lubricant, antiseptic soap or alcohol, and also a plastic speculum. Speculums are available at pharmacies that sell medical supplies.
- Locate a place to unwind. This is sometimes the floor or your couch, wherever you can feel comfortable.
- Reunite back.
- Bend your knees, with your feet wide apart.
- Lubricate the speculum, and insert it into your vagina at the closed position. Hurry to find the most comfortable position for inserting the speculum.
- When the speculum is inserted, grab the shorter section of the handle and pull it toward you until it opens within your vagina.
- Push back on the outside section till you hear a click while maintaining a firm hold on the speculum. The speculum is currently locked in position.
- Place the mirror in your feet so you can see your vagina. Move the speculum, while shining the flashlight into the mirror, until you can see your cervix and vaginal walls in the mirror.
- Take note of the colour of your cervix, in addition to any vaginal secretions.
- Eliminate the speculum, following your examination is finished, either in the closed or open position whichever is most comfortable for you.
- Gently wash the speculum with antiseptic alcohol or soap and shop for your next self-exam.
Tips and Tricks
Some girls may find it a lot easier to get a friend or spouse help by holding the mirror. A normal cervix appears moist, pink, and has a bulb-like shape. The cervix of pregnant women has a blue hue. Secretions change during the month. Knowing the changes your body goes through can help you discover your fertile periods, as well as abnormalities. Performing a test whilst menstruating may be more challenging than other times during the month. It may be tough to imagine any changes or abnormalities, too.
Performing a vaginal self-exam is neither recommended nor can it be valuable for detecting any abnormal cervical cells.
These abnormal cells can only be discovered through regular Pap smears.