Vulvar Self Examination and Testicular Self Examination

vulva and penis

As this article from CNN Health points out, cancer is one of the most commonly misdiagnosed conditions. When it comes to sexual health, it is critical for women of all ages to keep their annual gyn exam appointments as ovarian cancer, in particular, is difficult to diagnose until late stages and Pap tests can help to detect cervical changes well before they become cancerous. Other gyn cancers can be detected through regular gyn care as well and through performing vulvar self-examinations, women can look for any changes on their genitals and report them to a healthcare provider. As for men, penile cancer is rare but testicular cancer often strikes younger men. Performing testicular self-examination and keeping up with annual wellness exams is key for men. So check things out down there already – find out what feels and looks normal for you and let your healthcare provider know if anything changes, itches, turns red or white, or if you get moles or bumps, or if anything otherwise worries you.

Image via UAF theatre.

About Dr. Debby Herbenick

Dr. Debby Herbenick

Dr. Debby Herbenick is a sex researcher at Indiana University, sexual health educator at The Kinsey Institute, columnist, and author of five books about sex and love. Learn more about her work at