Gynecological Examination

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A gynecological examination is a complete physical exam of a woman’s pelvic organs by a health professional. This exam helps the health professional to evaluate the size and position of the vagina, cervix, uterus, and ovaries. A pelvic exam may be done to help detect certain cancers in their early stages, infections, sexually transmitted infections, or other reproductive system problems.

Why It Is Done

A pelvic exam may be done:

  • As part of a woman’s regular physical checkup. A Pap test may be done during the pelvic exam.
  • To detect vaginal infections, such as yeast infections or bacterial vaginosis.
  • To help detect sexually transmitted infections, such as chlamydia, herpes, gonorrhea, trichomoniasis, or human papillomavirus.
  • To help determine the cause of abnormal uterine bleeding.
  • To evaluate pelvic organ abnormalities, such as uterine fibroids, ovarian cysts, or uterine prolapse.
  • To evaluate abdominal or pelvic pain.
  • Before prescribing a method of birth control (contraception). Some methods of birth control, such as an intrauterine device, require a pelvic exam to make sure the device fits properly.

What To Think About

  • If you may have a sexually transmitted infection (STI), other testing may be needed to confirm a diagnosis.
  • Chlamydia Tests
  • Gonorrhea Test
  • Herpes Tests
  • Syphilis Tests
  • Tests for Bacterial Vaginosis (BV)
  • Vaginal Wet Mount