What Is a Pelvic Exam? | Questions About Gynecology Exams
A pelvic exam is a routine part of your wellness visit after you turn 21, and it only takes a few minutes and doesn’t hurt. Unless you have a medical problem, you can wait until you’re 21 to schedule your first check-up.
What happens during a pelvic exam?
A pelvic exam involves a doctor examining your internal reproductive organs, which include your vagina, cervix, ovaries, fallopian tubes, and uterus. There are usually three or four parts to a pelvic exam. Your doctor will use a speculum to separate the walls of your vagina. Tell your doctor if it hurts, as they may be able to adjust the size or position of the speculum.
What does a pelvic exam feel like?
Some parts of the exam may be uncomfortable, but they should not be painful; if they are, tell your doctor or nurse, and they may be able to make things more comfortable for you. This exam is for you, so don’t be afraid to express your concerns.
How often do I need to get a pelvic exam?
If you have a history of abnormal Pap tests or other health issues, your doctor or nurse will tell you when you need to return after your first pelvic exam. You may need more frequent exams if you have a history of abnormal Pap tests or other health issues.
More questions from patients:
A speculum pelvic exam is a part of a doctor’s pelvic exam; it’s an instrument that gently opens your vagina to allow the doctor to see inside, as well as allowing the nurse to reach your cervix for Pap tests and other infections tests.
Why is pelvic exam so painful?
When we anticipate that something will hurt, such as a pelvic exam, our pelvic floor muscles contract and tighten, which can cause more pain during the exam. One way to avoid this pain is to ‘bear down’ during the early part of the internal exam.
What happens at a pelvic exam?
One hand will gently press on the outside of your lower abdomen while the other hand inserts two lubricated, gloved fingers into your vagina. During this part of the exam, your doctor will check the size and shape of your uterus and ovaries, noting any tender areas or unusual growths.
How do I prepare for a pelvic exam?
Avoid vaginal intercourse, inserting anything into your vagina, and douching at least 24 hours before your pelvic exam. Get a comprehensive picture of your fertility status without going to a clinic.
Are pelvic exams awkward?
A: No, while pelvic exams can be uncomfortable, they should not be painful. If any part of your exam causes you pain, please let your provider know. Pelvic exams are only a few minutes long.
How painful is a pelvic exam?
What should I expect during the pelvic exam? The pelvic exam is simple, takes only a few minutes, and is painless. You may feel a little uncomfortable and embarrassed during the exam, but that’s normal.
What questions do gynecologists ask you?
The doctor will inquire about your previous medical history, family history, and previous surgeries, as well as asking you to recall your first period and describe it to them – whether your menstrual cycle is regular, how long it lasts, and so on.
Why do doctors look down your pants?
Boys remove their underwear or drop them to their knees for this test, which allows doctors to check for potentially concerning lumps and bumps and ensure that everything is developing normally.
Is it normal to get wet during a pelvic exam?
There is nothing wrong with you; your body’s natural lubrication response has nothing to do with whether or not you are aroused by your doctor or the examination itself; and some women lubricate more than others, which is also normal.
When should a girl have her first pelvic exam?
Most girls will not have an internal pelvic exam, which is recommended for healthy women starting at age 21. However, a girl who has problems like heavy bleeding, painful periods, or unusual vaginal discharge may need one sooner.
What should you not do before a pelvic exam?
If the idea of a pelvic exam during your period makes you uncomfortable, reschedule your appointment. There are some things to avoid two days before your Pap test: intercourse, vaginal creams, suppositories, medicine, and the use of douches, as these can obscure abnormal cells.
Do I need to shave before a pelvic exam?
Dr. Ross clarifies that shaving or waxing your vagina isn’t required before a gynecologic exam. u201cThe most important consideration in how to prepare for an exam is to simply be clean, so showering or using a vaginal hygiene wipe prior to your visit is suggested.u201d
What is a pelvic scan looking for?
A pelvic ultrasound is a noninvasive diagnostic exam that produces images that are used to assess organs and structures within the female pelvis. It allows for quick visualization of the uterus, cervix, vagina, fallopian tubes, and ovaries, among other female pelvic organs and structures.
How do I get over my fear of pelvic exams?
5 ways to help a patient relax during a pelvic exam
- Ask the patient how she is feeling at the start of the consultation.
- Explain the exam.
- Let the patient see the speculum.
- Give the patient control.
- Consider single-use tools.
Can a nurse practitioner do pelvic exams?
Women should have regular pelvic exams and Pap tests, which can be performed by a woman’s primary care physician, an internal medicine specialist, an obstetrician/gynecologist (OB/GYN), or another trained health professional like a physician assistant, nurse midwife, or nurse practitioner.
Can I do a pelvic exam on yourself?
While medical professionals do not recommend it, some women perform vaginal and cervical self-examinations. Supporters of these exams claim that they help women learn what is normal, allowing them to recognize changes more quicklyu2014a way to get to know your body better.