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Pelvic Exams: What to Expect and Who Needs Them

A pelvic exam is a physical exam of the organs around your pelvis. Pelvic exams are part of routine preventive care to look for any signs of disease.

If you're having pain or bleeding in your pelvic area, you might also have a pelvic exam.

Gynecologists do most pelvic exams during your annual wellness exam. But other trained providers, such as primary care doctors, nurse midwives, and advanced practice professionals, may also do them.

What Is a Pelvic Exam?

A pelvic exam checks the health of your reproductive organs and looks for signs of:

  • Infection.
  • Inflammation.
  • Skin changes.
  • Cancer.

During a pelvic exam, your doctor will first inspect your external genitals, such as your vulva. Then, they'll check your internal organs.

They may also do a Pap smear, which is a type of cancer screening.

Benefits of Routine Pelvic Exams

Your pelvic health is as vital as any other aspect of your health.

Routine pelvic exams can help:

  • Catch treatable problems, such as infections.
  • Diagnose issues that cause pelvic pain.
  • Detect cancer.
  • Safeguard your sexual and reproductive health.

Seeing your ob-gyn for a yearly well visit is also crucial. This is a chance to talk about sex, sexual health, birth control, and pregnancy.

What to Expect Before, During, and After a Pelvic Exam

Virtual Care Center

Starting your care with a video visit lets you connect with a Magee-Womens expert about your condition and treatment options, from anywhere in Pa. Your doctor and care team will help schedule and arrange in-person exams, testing or treatment you may need after your first video visit.

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