How To Prepare continued...
If you have had problems with pelvic exams in the past or
have experienced rape or sexual abuse, talk to your health professional about
your concerns or fears before the exam.
No other special
preparations are needed before having a pelvic exam. For your own comfort, you
may want to empty your bladder before the exam.
Talk to your
health professional about any concerns you have regarding the need for the
test, its risks, how it will be done, or what the results may mean. To help you
understand the importance of this test, fill out the
medical test information form(What is a PDF document?).
How It Is Done
During a pelvic exam, you will:
- Take off your clothes below the waist. You will
have a paper or cloth covering around your waist. If you are having a yearly
exam, you may need to undress completely so your health professional can also
do a breast exam.
- Lie on your back on an exam table with your feet
raised and supported by stirrups. This allows the health professional to
urethra, vagina, and other reproductive organs . You
may want to wear socks to keep your feet warm while they are in the
- Have a drape across your body for privacy during the
test. The health professional may use a lamp during the test, and you can ask
for a mirror if you want to watch while the test is being done.
A female nurse or assistant may stay in the room with you
during the exam. You may also request the presence of your partner or a
During the external exam, the health
- Check your vulva and the opening of your
vagina for signs of redness, irritation, discharge,
genital warts, and other abnormal conditions.
- Check inside your vagina with his or her gloved fingers for any
cysts or pus coming from the
- Gently insert the
speculum into your vagina . The speculum spreads apart the vaginal walls, allowing
the inside of the vagina and the cervix to be examined. The speculum may be
plastic or metal and may be warmed with water or lubricated with a vaginal
lubricant (such as K-Y Jelly).
- Check the walls of your vagina and
your cervix for damage, growths, inflammation, unusual discharge, or