Pelvic Gynecological Examination: How Is this Examination Performed?
Have you ever wondered how does a pelvic gynecological examination is performed and why? This is mostly important if you ever want to become pregnant because you`ll need to perform a few such investigations throughout pregnancy.
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What Does a Gynecological Examination Includes?
The routine examination of the gynecologist includes: examination of the external genital organs, pelvic examination with valves or speculum, and palpation of the uterus and uterine annexes.
The gynecological examination with valves consists in inserting a special tool in the woman`s vagina (valve or speculum), which extends the vaginal walls. Dilating the vagina using this tool allows the examination of the vaginal walls and the visible part of the cervix. This examination isn`t usually performed in the case of young girls who doesn`t have any symptom of the disease.
How Is this Examination Performed?
The gynecological investigation and inspection with valves is performed as follows:
- You`ll first need to undress the lower part of your body and lie down upon a gynecological examination chair on your back, and place your thighs on some special supports. Please keep in mind that if the examination takes place in a non-private clinic, it`s possible to need a towel or a disposable diaper to lay down on the chair before sitting on it. In private clinics, usually, there`s a special disposable sheets used.
- After the inspection of the vulva, the doctor gently spreads the labia minora and major and inserts the tool inside the vagina.
- After inserting the dilator, the doctor uses it to extend the walls of the vagina, making the vaginal cavity and cervix available for inspection.
- Inserting the dilator can sometimes lead to a bit of discomfort, but is rarely painful.
- During the examination, try to relax, take a deep and evenly breath – otherwise the procedure can become a bit unpleasant and may take more than it has to.
The popular gynecological instrument is sometimes named “mirror.” It has nothing to do with common glass mirrors and is named this way due to the conservation of the instrument`s old name, which initially was made out of metal and had a reflective surface.
Currently, doctors use disposable plastic mirrors to prevent transmission of genital infections during pelvic examination.
Often, the doctor takes a small amount of vaginal, cervical or urethral secretion with a special tampon during the inspection for bacteriological analysis, and also makes a small scraping of cervical tissue for cytological smears.
Also, depending on the results of the cervical inspection, the doctor may decide whether the colposcopy is necessary or not.
After the inspection of the valves, the doctor may perform a bimanual palpation of the uterus and uterine annexes.
The bimanual palpation means that the doctor will use his both hands to feel the cervix, uterus, fallopian tubes and ovaries. One hand will be placed on the woman`s abdomen, above the pubic area, and the indicator and middle fingers of the other hand will be inserted deep into the vagina.
The doctor will palpate the cervix using his 2 fingers inserted into the vagina, and the uterus, fallopian tubes and ovaries with the other hand.
Before you leave, ask your doctor when you need to come back to find out the results of the examination.
How to Prepare for It?
- Give up any sexual contacts for 1 – 2 days before the examination.
- Don`t do any vaginal washes 2 – 3 days before performing the examination, and don`t use any product of personal hygiene. Use only warm water if you need to wash your genital area.
- Stop using any medication under the form of vaginal suppositories, tablets or sprays a week before the investigation, if their usage wasn`t discussed with the doctor in advance.
- The hygiene of the external genital organs should be performed in the evening, before the examination. You shouldn`t was that area In the morning of the investigation.
- It`s recommended to avoid urinating 2 – 3 hours before the gynecological visit.
- Dress in such a way that you`ll be able to easily remove your clothes.
After the Examination
The pelvic investigation, bimanual palpation and smear test (Pap test) can somehow be unpleasant and a bit painful, especially for those women who aren`t used for a pelvic examination.
Some feel, either during the examination or after, severe pains, breathing difficulties, dizziness or fear. These symptoms are usually associated with the stress triggered by the examination, rather than the investigation itself. What the women feel during and after these examinations depending largely on their psychological examination and the doctor who perform the investigation.
Women who understand the necessity of the investigation and trust their doctor usually tolerate the entire examination quite well.
In the first few hours after the examination, you may experience some minor brown or pink vaginal discharges as well as small abdominal pains.
Talk to your doctor immediately if after a few days from the gynecological investigation you experience any abundant bleeding, fever, chills or severe abdominal pains.