Pelvic exam
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Pelvic Exam. Once a woman begins having sex or reaches age 16-18, she should have regular pelvic exams. (Once a year) During the exam, a health care provider checks the reproductive organs—vulva, vagina, cervix, uterus, ovaries, and fallopian tubes. A pelvic exam is done to:.

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Pelvic Exam

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Pelvic exam

Pelvic Exam

  • Once a woman begins having sex or reaches age 16-18, she should have regular pelvic exams. (Once a year)

  • During the exam, a health care provider checks the reproductive organs—vulva, vagina, cervix, uterus, ovaries, and fallopian tubes.


A pelvic exam is done to

A pelvic exam is done to:

  • Check the health of the reproductive organs

  • Prescribe and/or fit birth control devices

  • Check for vaginal infections or STDs

  • Determine pregnancy or miscarriage

  • Screen for cervical cancer, which can be treated and cured if found early


Before the exam

Before the exam

  • Tell your health care provider the reason for your visit

  • You will be asked about your period

  • You will be asked about your medical history

  • You will get ready for the exam, undress and put on a gown


The actual exam

The Actual Exam

  • The pelvic exam is simple. There are 3 or 4 steps. You will lie down on a table. The table has stirrups for your feet. You will spread your knees and legs open so your genital area is easier to see.

  • Try to relax. The more relaxed you are, the more comfortable the exam will be.


External exam

External Exam

  • First, your vulva or outside sex organs are checked for any growths or rashes. Be sure to say if you’ve noticed anything unusual.


Speculum exam

Speculum Exam

  • A speculum is a metal or plastic tool used to gently spread the vagina so your cervix can be seen. This shouldn’t hurt but it will most likely cause pressure.

  • This is done in order to do a Pap smear. Cell tissue is painlessly gathered from your cervix using a brush.

  • Your health care provider also checks for STDs


Bimanual exam

Bimanual Exam

  • Your health care provider puts on gloves and gel, puts 1-2 fingers inside of you and touches the cervix.

  • They will gently press on the abdomen and check the uterus, ovaries, and fallopian tubes.

  • All three parts take less than 5 minutes to complete in total.


Breast exam

Breast Exam

  • Your health care provider will also check your breasts for lumps. She or he will press gently around your breast and under the arm. They will look for discharge from the nipples and at the skin on the breast. You should do a self breast exam every month.


When to have a pelvic exam

When to have a pelvic exam:

  • Routine checkup every year

  • Heavy vaginal discharge that itches, burns or smells

  • Heavy vaginal bleeding or bleeding between periods

  • Painful intercourse

  • Menstrual cramps that cause you to miss school or work

  • Any signs of pregnancy

  • Side-effects of birth control

  • No periods by age 16


Submitted by sara fierst resident assistant uw platteville

Submitted by Sara Fierst, Resident Assistant, UW-Platteville


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