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A pelvic exam is a procedure in which your healthcare provider examines some of the female reproductive structures.
It is a private exam in an exam room with your healthcare provider and if you choose, a supportive loved one.
Young women should have pelvic exams if there are any gynecologic concerns, such as:
Sexually active females may get a pelvic exam to rule out sexually transmitted abnormalities.
The pelvic exam involves you getting undressed from the waist down, covering in a paper gown or sheet and sitting on an exam table. You will lie on your back at the end of the table with your feet against foot pedals.
The exam consists of three major steps:
During the exam you may feel some pressure but you should not feel pain. The exam should not be avoided due to fear because it is important to make sure your reproductive organs are healthy. Talk with your healthcare provider about methods to help you prepare for a pelvic exam.
A pelvic exam is different from a Pap test. The pelvic exam is done in order to complete a Pap test, which involves getting samples of the cells from one of the pelvic organs. It is important to get your Pap test every year once your healthcare provider recommends that you start getting Pap tests.
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