Pelvic exams are a part of many women’s yearly routine. A pelvic exam is a normal part of taking care of your body. It doesn’t take very long and it doesn’t hurt. Pelvic exams can help catch issues or diseases as they are just beginning, saving you time and encouraging better treatment in many cases. Keep reading to learn about what happens during a pelvic exam.
What is examined during a pelvic exam?
Often, a pelvic exam is a complete exam to look for the health of the cervix, fallopian tubes, ovaries, bladder, vulva, uterus, and sometimes even the rectum. You may have one as a part of a yearly health check, if you suspect you may have an STD, or if you are pregnant.
Your physician may press down on various parts of your lower stomach to check for abnormalities in your organs. Additionally, your physician may perform a bimanual exam. Your doctor will place two fingers inside the vagina and uses their other hand to gently press down on the area he or she is feeling. This, though slightly uncomfortable, helps your doctor determine if the organs have changed in size or shape.
Usually performed during a pelvic exam, a Pap smear is a quick but important addition to your appointment. A small, hinged metal tool called a speculum is inserted into the vagina to open it enough to let us see what’s going on. Your physician will then be able to see your cervix properly. A small brush or medical spatula is then used to collect a small amount of cells from your cervix. This sample is sent to a lab to be tested for cancerous and precancerous cells. Often, we can use the same sample to test for HPV (Human Papillomavirus).
We recommend having a pelvic exam every year, to make sure that you are healthy and free of disease. Often, this kind of appointment is covered by insurance, but we recommend double-checking to know what you are liable for regarding to payment. Pelvic exams can help identify STDs so we can formulate a treatment plan. They also can help identify cancer in patients of all ages.
Please call us at (214) 544-6600 to schedule an appointment for your regular pelvic exam today.