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Pelvic Examination

How It Is Done continued...

If you are due for a Pap test, your health professional will use a small brush or a wooden spatula to gently collect a sample of cervical cells. You may have some staining or bleeding after the sample is taken. A sample of the cervical mucus may also be obtained with a cotton swab and tested for sexually transmitted infections such as gonorrhea or chlamydia.

Bimanual exam

This exam is usually done as part of a pelvic exam. Your health professional will insert one or two gloved fingers of one hand into your vagina while placing the other hand on your lower abdomen. By pressing down on the abdomen and moving the fingers around inside your vagina, your health professional can locate and determine the size, shape, and consistency of the uterus and ovaries. Any unusual growths, tenderness, or pain can also be identified.

Rectovaginal exam

For this exam, your health professional will insert one finger into your rectum and one into your vagina. This helps your health professional evaluate your ovaries and uterus ligaments. This exam is not always done as part of a pelvic exam.

After the exam is finished, you will be given a washcloth or tissue to wipe your vaginal area to remove any discharge resulting from the exam. Then you will get dressed. Some test results may be available immediately, but results from the Pap test may take from several days to a couple of weeks.

How It Feels

A pelvic exam is more comfortable if you and the health professional are relaxed during the procedure. Breathing deeply and having a light conversation with your health professional may help you relax. Try not to hold your breath or tense your muscles.

You may feel some pressure or mild discomfort when the speculum camera.gif is inserted into your vagina. Try to relax your legs and hips as much as you can. You may experience pain or irritation, especially if you have a vaginal infection. If a metal speculum is used, the metal may feel cold and hard. The speculum may be warmed with water or lubricated with a vaginal lubricant, such as K-Y Jelly, before being inserted into the vagina.

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: March 12, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

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