A pelvic exam is a crucial component to a woman’s recommended yearly gynecological examination. The pelvic exam is typically combined with other tests and assessments in order to provide a complete picture of the individual’s current health.
Such additional components typically include:
The women’s health experts at La Grande Family Medicine provide comprehensive pelvic exams for women in La Grande, OR. Learn more about pelvic exams and schedule your appointment today.
During a pelvic exam, your OBGYN will be focused on assessing various structures of the pelvis to determine if there are any abnormalities present. In order to gain a clear view of the vagina, cervix, and other reproductive organs, your provider will ask you to lie back on an examination table with your legs positioned in stirrups.
At this point, a speculum will be gently inserted into the vagina to separate the vaginal walls. Your OBGYN will then place their one or two gloved fingers inside while pressing on the outer abdomen. A mild amount of discomfort is typical during this stage of the pelvic exam, but this portion should in no way be significantly painful for the patient.
While your OBGYN has the speculum in place, they may also take a swab of cervical cells to be tested for the presence of cervical cancer. This is called a pap smear, and is only recommended to be performed every few years, though patients may request that a pap smear be performed more frequently if they so desire.
It is not uncommon for your physician to also perform a rectal exam in addition to a pelvic exam. This assessment helps to evaluate the muscles located between the vagina and anus. A rectovaginal exam is also useful in detecting possible tumors located behind the uterus. As with the speculum exam, you should expect some minor discomfort but no intense pain.
Generally, most women are advised to complete a pelvic exam once per year during an annual physical with their gynecologist. Your OBGYN may also recommend an increase in the frequency of these evaluations of the pelvis depending upon you or your family’s medical history.
If you are due for a pelvic exam, or would like to schedule one in the near future, please contact La Grande Family Medicine today. Call our office to schedule your pelvic exam with one of our board-certified gynecologists at (541) 963-4139.