Each body part needs care and attention. Most women never skip their skin and hair self-care routine but the vagina remains neglected. Now, ‘care’ doesn’t just mean applying fancy products but also includes looking out for any change by self-examining the vaginal area.
To begin with, self-examination includes the outer part of the vagina which is the vulva. Basically, you’re examining your vulva and not the actual vagina. While it is recommended that you self-examine your vulva to keep a track of any strange or unusual appearances, it is not easy to do! But, you need to start somewhere, right?
We reached out to Dr Vinita Diwakar, obstetrician and gynaecologist, Columbia Asia Hospital, Ghaziabad to understand why self-examination is important and crucial for a healthy vagina. “Self-examining your vulva is essential as any infection or abnormality can get detected in the early stages,” says Dr Diwakar.
Dr Diwakar listed the 3 prime reasons behind the importance of self-examining your vaginal area regularly:
The appearance of any skin patch or discolouration around the skin of the vulva is a sign that something is not right. It might also indicate certain types of infection.
Dr Diwakar says, “The colour of the patch indicates different conditions. White patches in the outer female genitals, for example, indicate leukoplakia which needs immediate attention.”
“Any unhealthy discharge from the vagina or urinary tract can be an indicator of infection. While most of the discharge is completely normal and healthy, heavy discharge that keeps you wet all the time isn’t”, says Dr Diwakar.
Moreover, yellowish or greenish discharge accompanied by a pungent or a fishy smell isn’t healthy. In such a situation, you must visit your gynaecologist to rule out any underlying medical conditions.
Do not shy away! By self-examining your vulva, you can not only maintain good hygiene down there but also be more aware of what your normal vulva looks or feels like. So, knowing your lady bits will keep you away from any unwanted infections and complications.
If you notice any lumps, bumps, soreness, discolourations or patches, you need to see a gynaecologist. Remember, the sooner a complication is diagnosed, the earlier it will be treated. So, don’t shy away and examine your vaginal area regularly!