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What happens during a pelvic exam?

The doctor or nurse practitioner will ask the person if they have any questions or concerns. It is important to be honest about topics relating to sexual health. Photo: Pexels

(Lana Barhum/ Medical News Today) — A pelvic exam involves physically and visually examining the female reproductive and sexual organs. It allows a doctor to look for signs of infection and illness.

Doctors often perform pelvic exams to check for sexually transmitted infections (STIs), yeast infections, and bacterial vaginosis.

A pelvic exam is often performed on the same day as other preventive screenings – a breast examination and a Pap smear.

The purpose of a breast exam is to look for abnormalities and other signs of cancers that begin in the breast tissue. Pap smears can show signs of cancer and precancer of the cervix.

Pelvic exams are also part of sexual assault assessments.

A person does not need to do anything before a pelvic exam. They can simply attend their appointment.

The doctor or nurse will usually ask if the person needs to use the bathroom, to help them feel more comfortable during the exam and so that they can be examined without distractions. (…)