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How is a pelvic exam performed?

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During a typical pelvic exam, your doctor will:

1. Ask you to take off your clothes in private -- you'll be given a gown or other covering.

2. Talk to you about any health concerns.

3. Ask you to lie on your back and relax.

4. Press down on areas of the lower stomach to feel the organs from the outside.

5. Help you get in position for the speculum exam (you may be asked to slide down to the end of the table).

6. Ask you to bend your knees and to place your feet in holders called stirrups.

7. Perform the speculum exam. Your doctor will put a device called a speculum into your vagina. The speculum is opened to widen the vagina so that the vagina and cervix can be seen.

8. Perform a Pap smear. Your doctor will use a plastic spatula and small brush to take a sample of cells from the cervix. A sample of fluid also may be taken from the vagina to test for infection.

9. Remove the speculum.

10. Perform a bimanual exam. Your doctor will place two fingers inside the vagina and uses the other hand to gently press down on the area she's feeling. She's checking to see if the organs have changed in size or shape.

11. Sometimes a rectal exam is performed. Your doctor inserts a gloved finger into the rectum to detect any tumors or other abnormalities.

12. Talk to you about the exam (You may be asked to return to get test results.)

From: The Pelvic Exam WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES:  The American Cancer Society. . Centers for Disease Control.
U.S. Preventive Services Task Force


 

 

Reviewed by Traci C. Johnson on September 17, 2018

SOURCES:  The American Cancer Society. . Centers for Disease Control.
U.S. Preventive Services Task Force


 

 

Reviewed by Traci C. Johnson on September 17, 2018

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What tests are taken during the pelvic exam?

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