Pelvic Exam

Smiling senior couple jogging in the park

Overview

What is a Pelvic Exam?

A pelvic exam is when your doctor checks your vulva, vagina, cervix, ovaries, uterus, rectum and pelvis for signs of illness or abnormalities, including:   

  • An external visual exam to check for irritation, sores, swelling and redness. 
  • An internal exam using a speculum to spread the vaginal walls to see your vagina and cervix clearly. 
  • A physical exam when your doctor inserts two lubricated fingers into your vagina while palpating your abdomen and pelvis.  This allows your doctor to check the size and shape of your ovaries and cervix as well as check for tender areas or abnormalities. 

A pelvic exam is an opportunity to discuss any concerns you may have about your sexual health and wellness.   

Why

Why is a Pelvic Exam Done?

A pelvic exam is often part of a routine physical exam to help diagnose medical conditions.  Your doctor will look for signs of ovarian cysts, uterine fibroids, cancer or sexually transmitted infections.  A pelvic exam is also recommended if you’re experiencing pelvic pain, unusual vaginal bleeding or discharge, or urinary problems.  Your doctor will also perform pelvic exams when you’re pregnant.  

Seated doctor and patient

Risks

Pelvic Exam Risks and Complications

There are no risks to a pelvic exam, and you should have no pain, but may feel slight discomfort during the exam.   

Prep

Preparing for a Pelvic Exam

Your doctor will probably recommend the following preparations at least 48 hours before the procedure, especially if a Pap test is done during the exam: 

  • Schedule the procedure when you’re not having your period. 
  • Don’t have intercourse. 
  • Don’t use vaginal medicines, creams or jellies. 
  • Don’t insert tampons into your vagina. 
  • Don’t douche. 
Two medical professionals reviewing paperwork

What to Expect

What to Expect During a Pelvic Exam

During a Pelvic Exam

During a typical pelvic exam you will be asked to lie on your back and place your feet in the stirrups.  A speculum will be gently inserted in your vagina and opened. The doctor will then examine you and the speculum removed.  A rectal exam may also be done by inserting a gloved finger into the rectum to feel for any abnormalities.   

Pelvic Exam Follow-Up

Your doctor will discuss the results and recommend other tests if appropriate.  You can then return to your normal activities without restrictions after your pelvic exam.   

Specialists

Pelvic Exam Specialists

1301 20th St., Suite 270, Santa Monica, CA 90404

2001 Santa Monica Blvd., Suite 680W, Santa Monica, CA 90404

1301 20th St., Suite 270, Santa Monica, CA 90404

12555 West Jefferson Blvd., Suite 303, Los Angeles, CA 90066

1301 20th St., Suite 270, Santa Monica, CA 90404

1301 20th St., Suite 270, Santa Monica, CA 90404

1301 20th St., Suite 270, Santa Monica, CA 90404

2001 Santa Monica Blvd., Suite 970W, Santa Monica, CA 90404

2001 Santa Monica Blvd., Suite 970W, Santa Monica, CA 90404

2001 Santa Monica Blvd., Suite 970W, Santa Monica, CA 90404

12555 West Jefferson Blvd., Suite 301, Los Angeles, CA 90066

2001 Santa Monica Blvd., Suite 970W, Santa Monica, CA 90404

2001 Santa Monica Blvd., Suite 970W, Santa Monica, CA 90404

2001 Santa Monica Blvd., Suite 970W, Santa Monica, CA 90404

2001 Santa Monica Blvd., Suite 970W, Santa Monica, CA 90404

2001 Santa Monica Blvd., Suite 970W, Santa Monica, CA 90404

2001 Santa Monica Blvd., Suite 970W, Santa Monica, CA 90404