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Pelvic examination
Pelvic exam nci-vol-1786-300.jpg
Line drawing showing palpation in pelvic exam.
ICD-9-CM 89.26
An image that shows the introitus (the opening of the vagina) in relation to its surrounding structures, when the labia are displaced by digits during a pelvic examination.

A pelvic examination, also pelvic exam, is a physical examination of the female pelvic organs.

Broadly, it can be divided into the external examination and internal examination.[1]

It is also called "Bimanual Exam" & "Manual Uterine Palpation".

External examination[edit]

  • examination of anatomy
  • skin lesion
  • palpation of stomach area

Internal examination[edit]

Speculum Exam[edit]

Use of a speculum[2] to locate the external cervical os. Examination for foreign bodies and cervical swabs are taken at this point in the exam. These swabs of the epithelium layer of the cervix are known as a Pap smear. Other vaginal swabs can be taken at this time or STI testing.

Bimanual Exam[edit]

Two fingers are inserted into the vagina until they isolate the cervix. Then the health care professional tests for cervical motion tenderness, as classically seen in pelvic inflammatory disease. The examiner palpates the uterus, including location of the fundus of the uterus and the adnexal structures.


The exam should not be excessively uncomfortable, but a woman with a vaginal infection may feel pain when the speculum is inserted. During the bimanual exam, the palpating of the ovaries may be painful. The pap test may cause some cramping as well.

Informed consent[edit]

For educational purposes, trainee doctors have performed pelvic exams on unconscious women. The subjects are those undergoing surgery for unrelated causes, and they were rarely informed the examination had occurred. This practice was forbidden in the United States, New Zealand and the United Kingdom, which now require the patient to consent in advance. The practice still continues in Canada according to a study published in the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology.[3] The director of the Medical Health program at the University of Manitoba claimed in response that the revised 2006 guidelines of the Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists of Canada forbade pelvic exams without consent,[4] though the original impetus for the study of pelvic exams and consent was an incident in 2007.[3]

See also[edit]

Well-woman examination


External links[edit]

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pelvic_examination — Please support Wikipedia.
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6 news items

Washington Post
Fri, 18 Apr 2014 12:36:32 -0700

Valerie was unable to apply other methods of birth control such as a diaphragm, and would not cooperate in a pelvic examination for an intrauterine device which the witness believed was unsafe in any event…. It was conceded that the court had the ...
GMA News
Sat, 19 Apr 2014 09:59:18 -0700

Pelvic examination did not indicate any vaginal or cervical discharges, and her external genitalia were normal. Upon questioning, she said she had just gotten married, and she and her new husband had just come back from a holiday. She was a textbook ...
Thu, 17 Apr 2014 03:18:45 -0700

Unlike other contraceptives women can begin to use COCs without a pelvic examination, without any blood test or other routine tests, without cervical cancer screening. If you are a woman and you are not comfortable with the COCs, all hope is not lost ...
Insurance News Net (press release)
Mon, 14 Apr 2014 06:12:18 -0700

The center physician may waive the pelvic examination if in his or her opinion there is sufficient justification and document as such, b) the center physician may grant waivers of immunization requirements for valid medical and/or religious reasons and ...

India.Com Health

India.Com Health
Wed, 16 Apr 2014 03:41:15 -0700

A pelvic examination or sexual intercourse can aggravate the blood vessels and can trigger bleeding. 'This type of bleeding isn't harmful and would not cause any harm to the mother and the baby,' informs Dr Mehta. However, it is better to talk to your ...

Wonder Woman

Wonder Woman
Tue, 01 Apr 2014 23:56:15 -0700

They can be diagnosed with a pelvic examination (bimanual examination) and confirmed by an ultrasound. Most fibroids do not require any treatment unless they are showing visible, disturbing symptoms. After menopause fibroids tend toshrink naturally and ...

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