What is a vulvar/vaginal biopsy?
A vulvar/vaginal biopsy takes one or more samples of tissue from the vulva or vagina. The vulva is the outer part of the female genitals. This includes the labia (lips) and the clitoris. The vagina is the opening that leads to the cervix, and the cervix is the entrance to the uterus.
Why is a vulvar/vaginal biopsy needed?
A biopsy is done to determine why you may have noticed itching, redness, swelling, or changes in color to your vulva or vagina. It may also be done if you have a lump or sore that has recently appeared.
What happens during the procedure?
First, the biopsy area will be cleaned with an antiseptic liquid. If you are having a vaginal biopsy, your provider will use a speculum to open your vagina. A speculum is the same instrument used during a Pap smear. Numbing medicine will be injected into the area that is going to be biopsied. One or more small pieces of tissue will be removed and sent to a lab for analysis. If you require stitches, dissolvable stitches will most likely be used. These stitches do not need to be removed by your provider. You may feel some discomfort and pressure during the procedure.