Pelvic Exam Procedure

What to Expect During Your Annual Pelvic Exam

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The Speculum Exam


A speculum is a metal or plastic instrument that looks somewhat like a duck's bill. The "bills" are inserted into the vagina and opened in order to spread the vaginal walls and visualize the cervix. After the speculum has been opened, a cervical brush and then a spatula will be used to rub a sample of cells off the cervix. This may cause you to experience some spotting after the exam, but it will not hurt. The sample of cells is spread onto a slide and this is the Pap smear. Any samples for testing for infections will be collected. Some doctors screen for sexually transmitted diseases routinely. However, most tests will only be done if there is a reason. The speculum is then closed and removed from your vagina. There will be some clicking noises during the locking and unlocking of the speculum; these noises are routine, so there is no need to be concerned by them.

Your doctor will do a speculum exam to obtain a pap smear.

Click to watch a demonstration



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