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What Happens During a Pelvic Exam?

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You won’t always need a pelvic exam when you visit your private women clinic with a gynaecological problem, but there are some occasions on which an exam will be necessary. Knowing what to expect from a pelvic exam can help you to feel more comfortable during the procedure.

During The Pelvic Exam

  1. You don’t need to prepare in any way for a pelvic exam at a private women clinic, although it can be a good idea to go to the toilet before the exam. You might want to wait until you are at the clinic to do so, as your doctor might want you to provide a urine sample.
  2. Before the examination begins, your nurse or gynaecologist will leave you in private to remove your underwear. You will then be asked to lie down on your back and to relax.
  3. The doctor will usually begin by pressing down on different areas of your abdomen to feel the organs inside. Your gynaecologist will be looking for signs of swelling, pain, and other problems.
  4. A speculum examination will often need to be performed during the pelvic exam. Your doctor will probably ask you to move down to the end of the table, and to bend your knees or place your legs in stirrups or on supports. The speculum will then be inserted into your vagina to widen the opening. This enables your doctor to get a clear view of the vagina and cervix.
  5. A swab may be taken from the cervix or vagina, with a small plastic brush. The sample can be tested for signs of infection or for cervical abnormalities that might indicate a risk of cancer.
  6. Your doctor may also need to perform a bimanual examination, which involves placing two fingers inside the vagina and then using the other hand to press down on the area being examined. This part of the exam can reveal changes to the size and shape of certain organs, or determine the location of any pain you have been feeling.

The whole exam will be over very quickly, and although you may feel a little bit uncomfortable, none of the investigations will hurt. You should feel free to ask any questions before or during the exam, and you can also ask to have a chaperone present at the private women clinic if you want.

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