A pelvic examination is a physical examination only for women. It lets your doctor check to see if your pelvic organs are healthy. You may have a pelvic examination if you have bleeding or an infection in your vagina. Or you could have one if you have pain in your pelvis. You might also have this kind of examination to check for sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
You can have this kind of examination at any time. But try to schedule it when you do not have your period. And do not use douches, tampons, or vaginal medicines, sprays, or powders for at least 24 hours before your examination.
Before the examination, it's best to talk honestly with your doctor. Tell your doctor if you might be pregnant. And tell him or her if you have a pelvic problem or any other health problem. You can also use this time to ask any questions about your body, birth control, or STIs. If you are not having sex, but you're thinking about it, you can also discuss that.
If you are sexually active, it's important for your doctor to know that. This is so he or she can check for signs of pregnancy. You can also be checked for STIs, such as herpes and gonorrhea.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
This examination takes about 10 minutes. At the end, you will get a face cloth or tissue to clean your vaginal area. It's normal to have some discharge after this examination. You can then get dressed.
Some test results may be ready right away. But results from a culture or a Pap test may take several days or a few weeks.
There are no risks from a pelvic examination.
Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if:
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Current as of: October 13, 2016
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
& Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine & Martin J. Gabica, MD - Family Medicine
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