Pelvic Exams in Beckley, WV
A pelvic exam evaluates the reproductive organs’ health. As part of your routine examination, you may be subjected to a pelvic exam. This examination is used to assess symptoms such as pelvic discomfort, irregular vaginal bleeding, and discharge. It may also be used to gather cell samples for cervical cancer screening. Dr. Elizabeth Thompson Nelson, MD, offers pelvic exams at our clinic in Beckley, WV. For more information, contact us or schedule an appointment online. We are conveniently located at 2401 South Kanawha Street, Ste 100, Beckley, WV 25801.
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Doctors evaluate your reproductive organs during a pelvic exam. It is possible that you will have a pelvic exam as part of your regular checkup. A pelvic exam might be recommended by your doctor if you have symptoms such as unusual vaginal discharge or pelvic pain.
It usually only takes a few minutes for a pelvic exam to be completed. If there are any abnormalities in your vulva, ovaries, uterus, vagina, cervix, rectum, and pelvis, your doctor will check them. An examination of the pelvis often includes a Pap test, which screens for cervical cancer.
It takes only a few minutes for your doctor to perform a pelvic exam. You’ll have to change into a gown after changing out of your clothes. To ensure your privacy, you may be given a sheet to wrap around your waist. You might also have an abdominal, back, and breast exam conducted before your doctor performs the pelvic exam.
Usually, your doctor can tell you right away if anything unusual is discovered during the exam. There might be a few days of delay before Pap test results are available. The next steps, additional tests, follow-ups, and treatments will be discussed with you by your doctor. You can discuss sexual or reproductive health with your doctor during your pelvic exam. Your visit should include a discussion of any questions you may have.
Preparing for a pelvic exam doesn’t require any special preparation. Your pelvic exam may be more comfortable if it is scheduled on a day when you do not have your period. Emptying your bladder before the exam might also make you more comfortable. You may consider writing down any questions you have concerning your health or the exam ahead of time to ensure you don’t forget them.
Your knees will be bent as you lie on an exam table with your feet placed in supports (stirrups) or on the corners. In order to open your knees, you’ll need to slide your body toward the edge of the table.
The process begins with an external visual exam. As a first step, your doctor examines your vulva for irritation, redness, sores, swelling, or any other abnormalities. Your doctor will then spread open your vaginal walls and examine your cervix and vagina using a speculum – an instrument shaped like a duck’s bill. Before the speculum is inserted, it may be warmed to make it more comfortable.
For some women, inserting and opening the speculum can cause discomfort. You should relax as much as possible to reduce discomfort, but if you’re experiencing pain, speak with your doctor.
You will be asked to remove the speculum if you are having a Pap test (Pap smear) performed during your pelvic exam. Your doctor will use a small wand to collect a sample of cervical cells.
For this part of the exam, your doctor needs to palpate your abdomen and pelvis because your pelvic organs cannot be seen from outside your body. With one hand, your doctor will insert two lubricated, gloved fingers into your vagina while pressing gently on the outside of your lower abdomen with the other.
Your doctor will examine your uterus and ovaries during this part of the exam, noting any tender areas or abnormal growths. To detect tenderness, growths, or other irregularities in your rectum, your doctor will insert a gloved finger into your vaginal cavity after the vaginal exam. During each step, your doctor should explain what he or she is doing so that nothing is a surprise to you.
Pelvic exams are available at Beckley Internal Medicine. We serve patients from Beckley WV, Daniels WV, Bradley WV, Shady Spring WV, Sophia WV, and Macarthur WV.