Pelvic Examination

A pelvic examination is a complete physical exam of a woman’s pelvic organs by a health professional. A pelvic exam helps a health professional evaluate the size and position of the vagina, cervix, uterus, and ovaries. It is an important part of preventive healthcare for all adult women. A pelvic exam is done to help detect certain cancers in their early stages, infections, sexually transmitted diseases (STD’s), 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 smear may be done during the pelvic exam.

  • To detect vaginal infections, such as yeast infections or bacterial vaginosis.

  • To help detect sexually transmitted diseases (STD’s), such as Chlamydia, herpes, gonorrhea, trichomoniasis, or Human papillomavirus (HPV)

  • 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 a diaphragm or intrauterine device, require a pelvic exam to make sure the device fits properly.

Before prescribing a method of birth control (contraception). Some methods of birth control, such as a diaphragm or intrauterine device, require a pelvic exam to make sure the device fits properly.