What is vulvoscopy?
Vulvoscopy is a diagnostic test that consists in the observation of vulva and perineum (external female genitalia) and aims to:
- Diagnose and prevent benign or malignant lesions early;
- Identify the exact location of lesions that must undergo biopsy;
- Better evaluate inflammatory lesions or bacterial, fungal, protozoal, and viral infections such as HPV warts and ulcers;
- Better program the suitable therapy.
Vulvoscopy utilizes a source of magnification: the colposcope, a particular type of microscope able of enlarging the tissue image up to 40 times. This tool issues a white beam of light that highlights the damaged areas in the event of dysplasias and tumours. If necessary, it is also possible to perform a biopsy.
When can it be done?
The test is performed during a gynaecological examination; it is painless and non-invasive. It is better to undergo a vulvoscopy with no menstruation or discharge as these could interfere with the visualisation of the examined tissue. It can also be done during pregnancy.