Does Your Pelvis Need A Regular Check Up?
You must have heard of pelvic examinations sometime in your life. Then you must also know that it is extremely important for good maintenance of your pelvic region. Lets know about what pelvic examination really is. The reproductive organs of a woman are examined visually and physically by a clinician during a pelvic exam. During the examination, the doctor looks at the vulva, ovaries, fallopian tubes, vagina, and cervix. Pelvic exams are often carried out at clinics and offices by both public and commercial healthcare practitioners. Pelvic examinations most often check for Cervical Cancer, HPV (human papillomavirus), or Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs). Read ahead to know about pelvic examination in detail and what all it entails.
Why You Should Get a Pelvic Exam
You could require a pelvic examination for any of the following reasons:
The first being to evaluate your gynecological well-being. A pelvic exam is frequently included in a standard medical examination to look for any early cancer indications, ovarian cysts, STDs, or uterine fibroids. Pregnancy also frequently involves pelvic exams.
The suggested frequency of pelvic exams is a topic of intense discussion among professionals. Find out what your doctor suggests by asking them.
The second can be to determine a disease’s cause. If you have gynecological symptoms including pelvic pain, atypical vaginal bleeding, skin changes, abnormal vaginal discharge, or urinary issues, your doctor may recommend a pelvic exam. Your doctor can determine the origins of these symptoms with the use of a pelvic exam. Your doctor might advise more diagnostic procedures or medical care.
How you get ready
A pelvic exam requires no additional preparation on your part. You may wish to schedule your pelvic exam on a day when you are not on your period for your own comfort. Also, emptying your bladder prior to the exam could make you feel more at ease.
Consider writing down any questions you have about the exam or its potential outcomes and bringing them with you to the appointment so you won’t forget to bring them up. Asking questions to the doctor is absolutely necessary.
What to anticipate
A brief pelvic examination is performed in the doctor’s office. You can expect a lot of things to happen. The following are the most important that can happen in a pelvic examination.
You’ll be instructed to put on a gown instead of your current attire. If you want more privacy, you can be provided a sheet to put around your waist. Your doctor might listen to your heart and lungs, examine your breasts, back, and abdomen before completing the pelvic exam.
The pelvic examination
Your feet will be placed in supports or on the corners of the exam table as you lay on your back with your knees bent (stirrups). Your body will be instructed to slide toward the end of the table while you open your knees.
Typically, a pelvic exam consists of:
- External visual inspection
Your doctor will examine your vulva first, looking for any anomalies including swelling, blisters, redness, or irritation.
- Internal visual inspection
Your doctor will then spread open your vaginal walls using a speculum, a tool with a plastic or metal hinge like a duck’s bill, to examine your cervix and vagina. To make the speculum more pleasant for you, it may be warmed before use. Some women may experience pressure when putting in and taking out the speculum. Try to unwind as much as you can to reduce discomfort, but let your doctor know if you’re hurting.
- Pap smear
Before withdrawing the speculum, your doctor will swipe a tiny wand to obtain a sample of your cervical cells if your pelvic exam involves a Pap test (Pap Smear).
- Exam of the body
Your doctor must palpate your belly and pelvis for this portion of the exam because your pelvic organs, such as your uterus and ovaries, cannot be seen from outside of your body. Using one hand, your doctor will gently push the exterior of your lower abdomen with the other hand while inserting two lubricated, gloved fingers into your vagina.
- Your doctor will assess the size and form of your uterus and ovaries during this portion of the examination, noting any painful regions or strange growths. Your doctor will examine your rectum with a gloved finger after performing a vaginal examination to look for any abnormalities.
- Every step of the procedure should be explained to you in detail by your doctor so that nothing surprises you.
Doctors use a pelvic exam to check for disease symptoms in certain female bodily organs. The pelvis is referred to as being “pelvic.” During the examination, one examines a vagina owner’s: Ovaries (organs that produce eggs), Bladder (the sac that holds urine), Rectum (the chamber that connects the colon to the anus), Vulva (external genital organs), Uterus (the womb), Cervix (opening from the vagina to the uterus), Fallopian tubes (tubes that carry eggs to the womb). Moving on to when you can perform the pelvic examination depends upon when having a yearly physical examination, when you are a pregnant person, when a doctor performs an infection check (such as chlamydia, vaginosis, trichomoniasis, and others), and when you have pain in your lower back or pelvic region.
Vagina owners should start getting a Pap smear once they turn 21. Every three years, Pap tests should be used for regular screening on vagina owners aged 21 to 65. Vagina owners over 65 can discontinue getting checked if they have had at least three consecutively negative Pap tests or at least two negative HPV tests in the last ten years. Yet for at least 20 years, people who have previously had a more severe pre cancer diagnosis should continue to be screened.
By now you must have gotten to know the basic procedures and the uses of a pelvic examination. You must know that it is extremely important to get the examination done because it’s really necessary to keep your parts healthy, or else it can lead to severe complications and diseases in the future. You can begin by talking to your nearest healthcare professional and the related steps to take for the same. You can feel free to talk about your worries and concerns regarding the same. Your healthcare professional is there to provide you with all the care and support throughout the pelvic examination.