Vulvoscopy

What is a Vulvoscopy?

Vulvoscopy is an examination of the vulval skin surface at the perineum, labia and vaginal opening using a specially designed microscope (colposcope). A weak solution of Acetic Acid is applied on the vulva which may sting slightly at times.  This allows the doctor to look at cell changes on the vulva. The abnormal cells pick up the Acetic Acid and look white compared to the normal cells.

When is a Vulvoscopy Required?

A Vulvoscopy may be recommended if you have:

  • Vulva pain or soreness
  • Any visible abnormalities such as lesions or skin whitening
  • Vulval pain during sexual intercourse
  • Bleeding
  • Itching / Burning
  • Splitting of skin at the vulva
  • Abnormal PAP Smear test result

How is a Vulvoscopy Performed?

A Colposcope (medical microscope) is used to magnify the area (this is not inserted into the body) so any abnormal changes may be seen clearly by the Doctor. If during the examination abnormal cells are detected, a small biopsy (tissue sample) will be taken under local anaesthetic to be examined for abnormal cells. The biopsy is 3-4 mm in diameter and a dissolving stitch may be placed to close it. If a stitch is required it will fall out in the next 5-7 days.

A Vulvoscopy will show whether or not treatment is needed and will determine the nature of an abnormality. It is important to determine the diagnosis as some of the conditions affecting the area carry a malignant potential.

How to prepare for a Vulvoscopy?

The Vulvoscopy takes approximately 20 minutes.  It will be sore afterwards when the local anaesthetic wears off. It would be advisable to take 2 Panadol tablets 1 hour before the procedure.

It is advised not to have intercourse till the biopsy site heals. You will need to come back to see your doctor in 1-2 weeks time to discuss the results and commence appropriate management.

Dr Archna Saraswat


Dr Archna Saraswat is the founder of Northside Gynaecology. She understands that every women's body is unique, which is why she is so passionate about women's health, its advances in technology, and having the ability to positively improve her patients quality of life. 


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Dr Liana Tanda


Dr Liana Tanda is passionate about her patients and about sharing her knowledge with them. She believes that having a healthy body can have a significant positive impact on a woman's lifestyle, and believes in access to high quality service regardless of circumstances.

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Dr Caroline Wewengkang

Dr Caroline Wewengkang


Dr Caroline Wewengkang has recently joined the team at Northside Gynaecology.  She deeply enjoys the time she is able to spend with each of her patients allowing her the opportunity to utilise her comprehensive skills and knowledge to address their individual health concerns. 


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