Learning How to Use a Speculum In The Vagina
It is very easy to learn how to use a speculum properly, and can be a very useful tool to aid you in learning when you are fertile. If you have never seen your cervix before it's definitely worth taking a peek. Next time you go in for a pap smear ask you health care provider if you can take a look. The technique of proper speculum usage is also useful in medical role playing scenarios, where authenticity will add to the mutual pleasure and enjoyment.
Or you can learn by practicing how to do it in the comfort and privacy of your own home. All you need is a mirror, a flashlight and a speculum of your choice. Plastic speculums are easier to operate, although you can learn to use either plastic or stainless steel, and plastic is not cold like the metal ones are. Doctors and nurses mostly use the metal ones, which they keep on a heating pad or rinse in warm water before inserting.
Find a comfortable place, on a bed or a couch with your feet on the coffee table. Give yourself plenty of time so that you don't feel rushed. Finding your cervix for the first time can be challenging, and if it becomes difficult and frustrating, try again later. However, have no fear, because every woman can find her own cervix with a little practice.
Before inserting the speculum into your vagina for the first time, practice operating it. Squeeze the handles together, and see how the bills open. To lock the blades into place, the long handle slides up and the short handle slides down. The speculum will snap into place, you will hear a click, and the speculum is locked open. Then to close it do the opposite, push down on the long handle and up on the short one, you will hear another click and the handles will separate and the bills will close. Practice this a few times to get the hang of it before you insert it.
When you feel confident with how the speculum works, undress and make yourself comfortable in a semi-reclining position. Lubricate the bills of the speculum with a little olive oil or your favorite lubricant. With the bills closed, gently ease the speculum inside your vagina, as far as it will comfortably go, with the handles pointing up. Gently open the blades by squeezing the handles together and locking them open as described above.
Once locked open the speculum should stay in place while you reach for the mirror. If it feels like it might be slipping out, keep one hand on the handles as you reach for the mirror and flashlight. Hold the mirror between you legs and point the flashlight into the mirror and angle it so that the reflected light shines up inside to the back of yout vagina. You should be able to see the pink walls of the vagina around the edges of the speculum.
If it feels that the speculum might pop out if you let go - which is not a pleasant experience if the bills are locked open - use a very small mirror and keep a finger on the speculum while holding the mirror with the remaining fingers, with the flashlight, in your other hand. Just experiment and find what works best for you.
Examining Your Cervix With A Speculum In Your Vagina
Now look to the very back of your vagina. Can you see your cervix? If not, wiggle the speculum around a little bit, or try pulling up or bearing down with your stomach muscles. This will sometimes pop your cervix into view. You can also gently, and slowly turn the speculum slightly. If it still does not pop into view, take the speculum out, by unlocking it first and closing the bills. You can put a finger inside and see if you can feel it. It will feel like the end of you nose. Then re-insert the speculum, this time attempting to aim for where you felt it.
If you still have difficulty locating your cervix, try inserting the speculum with the handles pointing down. This way the handles of the speculum will be a little more difficult to grasp and operate, but when you do get the speculum open and locked into place, because this is the way they were made to be operated your cervix should clearly be in view. If not move the speculum around inside you a little and see if it will pop into view.
Remember - the first time you attempt to locate your cervix will be the most difficult. If you get frustrated, take a breather and try again later.
Seeing your cervix for the first time can be both exciting and empowering. It is such an important part of the female anatomy and is never seen or admired by most women. Most women have no idea what their cervix looks like. For anyone who doesn’t know, a cervix looks like the tip of a penis. It is rounded and firm with a small opening in the center called the os - pronounced like "toss" without the 't'. This is the entrance into the uterus. This is where the sperm makes their mad dash, and if they can get inside that little hole they are safe from the harsh environment of the vagina.
If a woman is fertile, there will be fertile mucus at the os, to guide the sperm in, if she is not fertile at this time the sperm meets an impenetrable barrier of infertile mucus which they cannot make their way through, and they die in the natural acidic environment of the vagina.
This tiny opening, believe it or not, is also the same orifice where a baby is born through. The os has to open up and dilate to a size where the mother can push the baby's head through. Its hard to imagine something so small can open so much.
Using A Vaginal Speculum To Observe The Fertility Cycle
Each month, the os goes through observable changes that can be seen by a woman who uses a speculum. These changes can also be felt if she inserts a finger into the vagina, but this takes more practice. After menstruation and before ovulation the os is closed but as ovulation approaches it begins to open, fertile mucus spills from this opening into the vagina (for more info on mucus observation). As ovulation occurs the os is at its most open point. When ovulation passes, and the os closes up tight, and mucus consistency and texture change dramatically, the fertile time for this cycle has passed. Once ovulation and signs of fertility pass the rest of the cycle is non-fertile and there is no danger of conception taking place.
The os will remain closed until menstruation begins where it may open slightly to allow the menstrual blood to pass. Then the cycle repeats.
What Type Of Speculum Is Suitable For Vaginal Gyno Examinations
Vaginal speculums come in three sizes, narrow, medium and long. Most women can use a medium sized speculum to comfortably insert into and examine their vaginas.
How can you determine what size speculum you need? There are a couple of ways. If you go for a pap smear, ask your health care professional what size speculum is being used. Some clinics even use plastic speculums, if so ask if you can keep it after the exam, as they throw them out anyway.
You can attempt to determine your correct size yourself by using your fingers. How many fingers can you insert into your vagina comfortably? If only one - use a narrow speculum. If two or more fingers will fit comfortably, use a medium sized one. If you are unable to reach your cervix with your finger tips at all, first, where are you in your cycle? Are you fertile? ovulating? During ovulation the cervix rises up higher inside the body. Wait 5 days then try again. If you still can't reach your cervix (which will feel rounded, and like the end of your nose) then try a long speculum. Most women use a medium size speculum. If you are unsure of the size get a couple different sizes. Plastic speculums are pretty cheap, this way you'll be able to experiment and see what works best for you.