Procedure and Precautions To Be Taken During a Vagina Self Exam

By Ashley | February 11, 2010

A vaginal self-exam is a technique used to identify abnormalities in the vagina, cervix, and vaginal secretions. It helps women detect abnormalities in their sexual organs. However, a vaginal self-exam must be performed using caution.


The amenities required to perform a vaginal self-exam are a speculum, a mirror, an antiseptic soap, and alcohol. This exam generally lasts for 20 minutes or so. The specifics of a vaginal self-exam are listed below:

  1. First of all, you must lie down on a comfortable platform. You can do this either on your couch or on the floor.
  2. Once you are comfortable on the floor or couch, you can begin performing the test.
  3. The next step is to insert the speculum into the vagina and open it once it is inside. This will give you a clear view.
  4. At this point, use the mirror to view the state of the cervix and the color of the vaginal secretions. If you find it difficult to perform the test alone, you can seek the help of your spouse or someone you are comfortable with, to hold the mirror steady while you insert the speculum into the vagina.
  5. The last step is to take out the speculum from the vagina in a closed or open position, whichever is more comfortable for you.


The vaginal self-exam appears to be simple, but it is tedious, and you need to take precautions when you perform this test. A few points of caution to adhere to are listed below:

  1. First of all, you must use a sterilized speculum. You can get a speculum at any pharmacy, but you are recommended to sterilize it before use. Also, you must wash the speculum with antiseptic soap and alcohol.
  2. You must know the difference in the color of vaginal secretions with changes in your menstrual phases to comprehend the vaginal self-test.
  3. You must also know that the cervix is pinkish in color and is wet normally, while the cervix of pregnant women is bluish in color.


However, these self-exams are not recommended to be performed. The reasons are listed below:

  1. These exams do not assist women in detecting vaginal afflictions and cannot replace annual professional pelvic examinations.
  2. These exams may prove to be dangerous if performed without caution.

Therefore, it is recommended that you consult your doctor before doing a vaginal self exam. In fact, some gynecologists consider these tests useless and hardly adequate to help in detecting vaginal diseases.