Pelvic Exam

Updated: JULY 23, 2019

A pelvic exam is a procedure in which a doctor examines the entire pelvic area for abnormalities including masses or growths. The exam usually an examination of the vulva, vagina, uterus, and cervix. It may include the rectum. A pap smear, which screens for cervical cancer, may also be part of a pelvic exam.

More About Pelvic Exam

A pelvic exam may be conducted during a yearly physical exam, during a pregnancy, or if a patient is experiencing symptoms of an infection such as pelvic pain.

A pelvic exam may consist of the following:

  1. A speculum exam - a speculum is inserted into the vagina and opened to allow the doctor to see the cervix and vagina.
  2. A pap smear - a small sample of cells are taken from the cervix using a brush to be examined under a microscope.
  3. A bimanual exam - two fingers are placed inside of the vagina. The doctor presses down on various areas feeling for changes or abnormalities of certain internal organs.
  4. A rectal exam - the doctor feels for tumors or abnormalities by inserting a finger in the rectum.

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