Do I Really Need A Pelvic Exam?

Why is pelvic exam so painful?

It’s human reflex to tighten up when we’re anticipating that something—like a pelvic exam—will hurt.

But when our pelvic floor muscles contract and tighten, it can lead to more pain during the exam.

A way to prevent this pain is to ‘bear down’ during the early part of the internal exam..

When should a girl have her first pelvic exam?

These are recommended starting at age 21 for healthy women. But a girl who has problems like heavy bleeding, painful periods, or unusual vaginal discharge might need a pelvic exam sooner.

Do you need a pelvic exam if you are not sexually active?

ANSWER: Pelvic exams and Pap smears are not necessary in healthy, adolescent girls who are not sexually active and who do not have gynecologic symptoms or other concerns. The recommended age for young women who have not previously needed a Pap smear to begin having the test is 21.

At what age is a pelvic exam no longer necessary?

ACOG recommends that pelvic exams, including a Pap smear, start at age 21, whether or not a woman has become sexually active. There is not a set age for discontinuing GYN exams, although Pap smears may be stopped for low risk women ages 66 and older.

What does a pelvic exam check for?

A pelvic exam usually lasts only a few minutes. Your doctor checks your vulva, vagina, cervix, ovaries, uterus, rectum and pelvis for any abnormalities. A Pap test, which screens for cervical cancer, is often performed during a pelvic exam.

Is a pelvic exam necessary?

Regardless of whether a pelvic examination is performed, a woman should see her obstetrician–gynecologist at least once a year for well-woman care. A pelvic examination is not necessary before initiating or prescribing contraception, other than an intrauterine device, or to screen for sexually transmitted infections.

Does a pelvic exam feel good?

Putting in and opening the speculum shouldn’t hurt. But some women say that it can cause a bit of pressure and discomfort. Because the vagina is surrounded by muscles that can contract or relax, the exam can be more comfortable if you relax the muscles in that area.

How do I prepare for my first pelvic exam?

Schedule your pelvic exam for a date when you will not be on your period. However, if you have a menstrual issue you are concerned about, your doctor may suggest an examination during your period. Avoid vaginal intercourse, inserting anything into your vagina, and douching, at least 24 hours before your pelvic exam.

Why do doctors look down your pants?

They can opt out if they’re uncomfortable, but it is a way for doctors to check for potentially concerning lumps and bumps, and make sure everything is developing normally. For this test, boys remove their underwear or drop them to their knees.

Do I need a pelvic exam if I’m a virgin?

The pelvic exam doesn’t change whether you are a virgin. It’s also not true that the pelvic exam is a “test” to see if you are a virgin. The exam can be done even if you have never had sexual intercourse, because the opening to your vagina is large enough to allow for the exam. 3 simple steps.

At what age should a woman stop seeing a gynecologist?

Women over age 65 can stop getting screened if they’ve had at least three consecutive negative Pap tests or at least two negative HPV tests within the previous 10 years, according to the guidelines. But women who have a history of a more advanced precancer diagnosis should continue to be screened for at least 20 years.

Are pelvic exams painful?

Your pelvic exam will only take a few minutes. Some parts of the exam may be uncomfortable, but it shouldn’t be painful. If it hurts, say something. Your doctor or nurse may be able to make things more comfortable.

What can a doctor feel during a pelvic exam?

What Can I Expect During a Pelvic Exam? You can expect to feel a little discomfort, but you should not feel pain during a pelvic exam. The exam itself takes about 10 minutes. If you have any questions during the exam, be sure to ask your doctor.

Why do Pap smears hurt?

When Pap smears are uncomfortable, it’s often because there’s a sensation of pressure in the pelvic region. Urinating beforehand can relieve some of this pressure.