The Importance of Talking About Vulvas
We don’t talk about vulvas enough, in our opinion.
Vulva vs Vagina: Understanding the Difference
In fact – given many people mis-name this part of us, we should probably start by clarifying that the vulva is the skin that touches our underwear, whereas the vagina is the tube leading inside to the cervix and uterus.
Changes in the Vulva During Perimenopause and Menopause
Vulvas change as we get older, and lose oestrogen. They also become more vulnerable to precancerous and cancerous changes.
The Importance of Self-Checking During Perimenopause and Menopause
Perimenopause and menopause are the perfect time to get more intimately acquainted with this part of yourself. Self-checking gets you familiar with how things look and feel so you notice any changes early. Most of us would know to report a lump or bleeding – but did you know that vulval melanomas are the second most common vulval cancer with, more than 1,400 cases a year in the UK? Spotting new freckles and moles here is vital: this is not something that only nude sunbathers get! Any of us can find a change here – and early action is vital to prevent spread and extensive surgery.
Educating on Vulval Health: What to Look For and When to Seek Help
Sharing information about how to check our vulvas, and what to report, is vital. Every woman should know what is normal, and what needs reporting.
Addressing Vulval Itch and Bleeding: Don’t Ignore the Signs
Don’t put up with itch and bleeding – most of the time, this will simply be loss of oestrogen, and need local HRT or moisturisers to resolve it – but for some women, it will be the first sign of lichen sclerosus or an early vulval cancer – and getting help early might make all the difference.