The pelvic exam and menopause

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(WebMD) — A pelvic exam is a way for doctors to look for signs of illness in organs in a woman’s body before, during, and after menopause. The word “pelvic” refers to the pelvis. The exam is used to look at a woman’s:

• Uterus (the womb)
• Vagina (the muscular canal which extends from the cervix to the labia)
• Cervix (opening from the uterus to the vagina)
• Fallopian tubes (tubes that carry eggs to the womb)
• Ovaries (glands that produce eggs)
• Bladder (the sac that holds urine)
• Rectum (the chamber that connects the colon to the anus)

A woman’s body size determines the sensitivity of the pelvic exam to identify an abnormality. Unfortunately, it is more difficult to examine patients who are heavier. Sometimes a doctor may order an ultrasound to confirm the findings on a pelvic exam.

Why Do Menopausal Women Need Pelvic Exams?
Because the risk of cancer increases with age, having regular pelvic exams may help in early detection of certain cancers in both menopausal and postmenopausal women. (…)

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