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It's important to check your vulva each month, same as you check your breasts. Here's how to do it and what you're looking at for.

Firstly, find a time where you won’t be disturbed for 5 minutes and be in a room with some good light. Wash your hands and then grab a hand mirror or scootch yourself up close to a full length mirror. You can use a hand mirror in any of the following positions; lying on your back, squatting or with one leg up on a chair or the side of the bath, something like that. You’ll find the right position for you.

Gently run your fingers across all parts of your vulva. From the hairy, plump mound at the top, down the sides, all over both inner and outer labia, inside the vestibule (this is the bit inside your inner labia) and all over and around the clitoral hood.

You’re looking for anything that might feel sore, feel like a bump or lump, like a dry, raised or thickened patch of skin or has any tears or cuts.

Take a closer look and check all the same areas for any changes in colour, any new or changed moles and anything that looks different to how it’s looked before.

Notice if your discharge is different from usual in smell, texture or amount. Remember it can change throughout the menstrual cycle.

You are looking for anything that is new or unusual for you.

If you wander back to the anus remember to wash your hands again before touching the vulva.

And that’s it!

Found something that you’re unsure about or worried about? Please try not to fall down a Google hole. Contact your doctor. They are here to check these things for you and they don’t care what you’re doing with your pubic hair, I double promise. You can ask for a female doctor or chaperone and you can take someone with you too.

Once you’ve booked the appointment take some deep breaths and try not to wander back to Dr Google before speaking to a professional.

You can sign up to my free monthly reminder to check your vulva. Always free and your data will never be shared.

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