Take home top 5

Please see below some of our tips and advice on vulvar care and vulvar self-examination:

Top 5 list:

1. A Physical examination is invaluable for diagnosis

The Vulvar Self-Examination (VSE) is important for early recognition of pre-cancerous, cancerous, and inflammatory skin conditions. The VSE will also help you better understand your body and changes that take place during the menstrual cycle.

2. Yeast can’t be diagnosed on the phone

Vaginal yeast infections are common. It is important to see your doctor in person to find out if you have a yeast infection. Doing so can allow them to perform a comprehensive physical examination and take vaginal swabs if needed to confirm the diagnosis.

3. Photos can be helpful

Photos can aid in the diagnosis of vulvar diseases by helping to visualize various components. They can show if things are changing over time: is a lesion new, is there more scarring, Or is a mole/lesion changing? Various findings such as scarring over the clitoris, flattening of the intra-labial folds, or lack of distinct labia minora can be indicative of vulvar conditions like lichen planus and lichen sclerosus. Furthermore, inflammation of the vulva and lesions such as cuts, or other lumps can help identify other vulvar disorders.

4. Self-treatment can lead to more problems

When symptoms such as vulvar itching or burning occur, women often assume it is a yeast infection. However, the cause of the symptoms can be due to menopause, sexually transmitted infections, bacterial infections or other potentially serious skin conditions that cannot be resolved with an antifungal cream. Furthermore, another common misconception is that vaginal discharge or itch can be cured with washes that disinfect the area and remove irritants. This is false. Aggressive cleansing in itself can be irritating and it’s best to avoid putting any types of soaps, or special products on the vulva. Even home remedies can cause vulvar irritation.

5. It’s your doctor’s job to help take care of you – don’t be shy

Your doctor is here to help you! Please feel free to reach out if you see something concerning. If you have concerns about signs and symptoms of vulvar disease, please visit your primary healthcare provider.