It's that time of the month again, that many of us are dreading, especially if you live with a condition such as Lichen Sclerosus. But truth be told, do you actually check your vulva? You're in this space, you see many of us remind you to check your vulva, but have you done it yet? Or have you maybe never looked at it? You may have absolutely no idea about what's going on "down there". That's okay if that's the case! I'm here to walk you through it. We often hear of the importance of checking your breasts while washing your hair in the shower, but growing up I never heard about the importance of checking (and knowing) your vulva. Did you? But it is important, so important.
Many conditions of the vulva often go undiagnosed, or gets diagnosed as a yeast infection, over and over again. Knowledge is power, and knowing all of your body parts is like the most powerful thing you can do for your health.
Whether you live with Lichen Sclerosus or not, even if you've never had any issues with that area, still knowing your anatomy is empowering.
For those of you who are new to this, or for those of you that live with Lichen Sclerosus may feel uncomfortable, you may not. No matter what you're feeling, your feelings are valid.
I want you to know that no matter what your vulva looks like, it is beautiful. For those of you who want to know more about what "normal" vulvas look like, I do recommend checking out The Vulva Gallery. There you will see a range of beautiful vulvas, all completely normal ones!
How to check your vulva:
Grab your mirror, a good sized one.
Your can prop one leg up on the toilet, or squat (hello yogi), or lie down. I like to lie down where I have natural light so I can see properly - that's my bed.
Use your mirror to have a look to start with (hello pretty).
Then start using your hand to feel around (I like to this without the mirror), what does your vulva feel like? How does it feel around the clitoris? Your Labias? Your perineum? The vaginal entrance?
Then use both your hand and the mirror to feel & see, what does it look like? If you pull up the clitorial hood? If you move the labia minora? (If you've got any of the two, if not, I feel ya! 😉)
Great, you just finished your first vulvar check! YOU ARE AMAZING!
Now, do this monthly.
Personally I like to get into a Bound Angle pose afterwards, and breathe into my vulva, send it some healing and love!
And as you continue to do your monthly vulvar checks, keep an eye out for anything that may change. If you are experiencing any: Bumps, lumps, rashes, lesions, spots, moles, or anything that looks suspicious, write it down in your journal or in your notes app on your phone (name the entry "My beautiful vulva", and keep track of anything. Then talk to your doctor about any concerns.
Your knowledge of your vulva is super important. Without it I wouldn't have gone to get my last laser surgery. I found something suspicious and I went to see my gynaecologist. Thanks to that they did a colposcopy and found that my vulva needed treatment. And I'm so grateful that I take power into my own hands and check my vulva regularly. Knowing your body is super important. I cannot stress this enough.
If you've got any questions, feel free to pop them in the comment section or send me DM.
If you experience stress around checking your vulva, you can access a free Pelvic Relaxation meditation within the Stress & the Pelvic Floor workshop: De-stress for less pelvic pain. You can access the workshop here.
Lots of love, Penny