Topic Overview

A genital self-exam is a simple examination you can give yourself to
become familiar with what is normal for you and to see if you have any
symptoms of a sexually transmitted infection (STI).

Men

  • Look for any areas of redness, sores, bumps,
    warts, or blisters in your genital area.
  • Look closely at and feel
    the entire surface of your penis, scrotum, and anus. If you are not
    circumcised, pull back your foreskin covering the head of your penis and look
    carefully at the head of your penis.
  • Use a mirror to help you look
    at the underside of your penis, your scrotum, and anus.
  • Look for
    discharge from the penis.
  • Check the testicles for swelling and
    tenderness.
  • Separate your pubic hair with your fingers so you can
    see the skin underneath the hair.

Women

  • Look for any areas of redness, sores, bumps,
    warts, or blisters in your genital area.
  • Separate your pubic hair
    and look closely at the skin underneath.
  • Use a mirror to see your
    entire genital area.
  • Look carefully at the skin on the inside of
    your legs and around your genitals.
  • Separate the fleshy lips that
    cover your clitoris and look carefully at all the exposed
    skin.
  • Hold open the lips of the vagina and look carefully at the
    inside of the lips as well as the opening to the vagina.

It may be helpful to feel each of these areas with your fingers as
you view them, so that you can be aware of any areas of rough skin or
bumps.

Credits

ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP – Emergency Medicine
Adam Husney, MD – Family Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer H. Michael O’Connor, MD – Emergency Medicine

Current as ofMarch 20, 2017