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know your vulva

Useful Links


From our social media campaigns:

  • Vulva not vagina

  • Vulva is on the outside, vagina on the inside!

  • Use the correct words, or it becomes more difficult to discuss concerns

  • Teach the correct words to children – boys and girls!

  • Do you know what yours looks like?

  • Grab a mirror, take a look… 


  • Checking the vulva

  • Do this monthly, when you check your breasts

  • Use a mirror

  • Thank you to Sylk for sending out 1,200 “know your vulva” mirrors as part of this campaign

  • Download our leaflet from to learn what you are checking for, and what to do if you have any concerns

  • Take a photo if you have something that bothers you and seek help


  • Good vulval skincare

  • Use a quality lube such as Sylk

  • Topical oestrogens can be hugely helpful post-menopause

  • White, cotton underwear is very kind to the skin

  • Pads and urine are not skin-friendly, so if leaking is a problem for you, get that treated fast!

  • Avoid chemicals in the vulval area – including washing detergents, shower gels and soap. Ban any “intimate products” from your bathroom. The vagina and vulva are self-cleaning and need nothing more than a splash of water for the majority of women


  • Vaginal Atrophy 

  • Now renamed “genito-urinary syndrome of menopause”

  • “My Menopauseal Vagina” by Jane Lewis is an incredible source of information 

  • Symptoms include dryness, itching, painful sex and discomfort in the vulval area

  • Most common cause is the lack of oestrogen at the menopause and afterwards

  • Effective treatments include topical oestrogens and good vulval skincare


  • Lichen Sclerosus

  • Symptoms include pale, pearly skin around the vulva and perineum, dryness, itching, painful sex

  • Cause is unknown

  • Treatment is designed to manage symptoms and includes good skincare and steroid creams

  • There is a small, increased risk of developing vulval cancer if you have LS and so regular self-checks and clinician-led checks are vital

  • There is no cure for lichen sclerosus

  • Vulval cancer

  • Symptoms include itching, soreness, skin changes, sore or swelling in the vulva

  • Symptoms overlap with lichen sclerosus and other skin problems

  • Around 1000 cases per year in the UK

  • Early detection and treatment is vital

  • Check monthly and check anything you are unsure about!

  • Summary

  • Vulva and vagina are different – know which is which!

  • Check your vulva with a mirror every month

  • Use our leaflet at

  • Don’t use chemicals on your vulva!

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