Female external genitalia are called vulva. There we can see labia majora and minora, the area around the entrance to the vagina, hymen, urethra. The examination of these structures is performed with the naked eye, and if needed under magnification, for what the colposcope is used.
Vulva changes can be very different: rash, little wounds, lumps, tumours, etc. They can be accompanied by different subjective problems: pain, pricking, itching, heat sensation. They are the result of a microorganism infection, benign or malignant tumour growth or injuries. Vulva changes can sometimes be congenital, but are most often acquired.
Vagina and cervix are examined using a medical instrument called speculum. During vagina examination the physician looks if there are changes on the vagina walls and the quality of the vaginal secretion. The sample of vaginal secretion is taken for microscopic examination. Microscopic examination determines the vaginal secretion group.
After speculum application, cervix, the place where a Pap smear is taken, becomes visible to physician’s eye. Pap smear is a screening method which finds possible cervix carcinoma.
It is best to perform cervix examination under a special type of microscope – colposcope. Using this kind of examination epithelium irregularities can be detected and a tissue sample can be taken from that spot for the pathohistological examination.
Palpatory uterus and ovary examination can detect irregularities in size and shape of these organs, and the presence of painful spots. This examination is now more often replaced by the ultrasound examination.