When I was in residency (before computers or Snapchat or memes! Yes, I am old!), we were encouraged to do A LOT of pelvic exams. I always felt sorry for the unfortunate woman who would show up at a teaching hospital with pelvic pain. She would first get a pelvic exam by a medical student, then an intern, then a chief resident and if something seemed really wrong, an attending physician. If she didn't have pelvic pain when she walked in, she sure would when she left. I am cringing as I write this.
We also did pelvic exams if a woman needed a refill of her birth control, or a routine STD check. Why??? There are important reasons that this is no longer necessary. Every woman should know these reasons.
* Pelvic exams were routine because it was all we had . . . 20 years ago. Western medicine is a like a large ship that is only able to turn very, very slowly. And a 180 degree turn takes decades. Pelvic ultrasounds are widely available and much more accurate, with some exceptions, than a hands-on pelvic exam 'bimanual' in doctor speak). If a woman has pelvic pain or abnormal bleeding, I usually will do a pelvic exam but I will also order an ultrasound. If she is someone who is morbidly obese or finds pelvic exams traumatic, I will sometimes skip the exam and go right to the ultrasound.
*The American College of OB-GYN (ACOG) has finally come around to recognizing this. Their guidelines specifically state: 'pelvic' examinations should be performed when indicated by medical history or symptoms. (Committee Opinion #754, October 2018, if you don't believe me.)
*We can now do most STD screening with a simple urine test. If a woman needs routine screening because of a new partner or peace of mind, she does not need a pelvic exam. Now if she is having unusual discharge or itching or pelvic pain, then she probably does need a pelvic.
*Pap smears and pelvic exams are NOT the same thing. Again, paps and pelvics are not the same. I want to type this twenty times, but I think you get my point. A pap smear is just a small part of the pelvic exam that screens for cervical cancer. This is now done every 3-5 years beginning at age 21, assuming the pap is normal.
WAIT, NO PELVIC EXAM? There is so much confusion and misinformation when it comes to pelvic exams: what they entail, what they can and cannot diagnose, and how often they are necessary. In this time of telemedicine, people are surprised to learn that yes, actually, I can do many visits remotely. When I was in residency (before computers or Snapchat or memes! Yes, I am old!), we were encouraged to do A LOT of pelvic exams. I always felt sorry for the unfortunate woman who would show up at a teaching hospital with pelvic pain. She would first get a...Quoted From: https://localhealthconnect.com/blog/wait-no-pelvic-exam.html
Today we're talking to Dr Cynthia McNally she is a board-certified OB/GYN and owner of Evergreen women's health right here in downtown Vancouver. Hi Cynthia . CM- Hi Jen how are you? LHC- ...Let's Make a Health Connection Podcast - Series #3 with Dr. Cynthia McNally, OB/GYN in Vancouver Washington
With so many birth control options available, it can be hard to know which option is right for you. At Evergreen Integrative Gynecology in Vancouver, Washington, board-certified gynecologist Cynthia McNally, MD, ...Family Planning And Counseling
Kendall Hagensen is a Somatic or Body-Oriented Therapist and trained in EMDR, which means that she uses our innate mind-body connection as a tool in counseling. If you are interested in ...3 things to remember when newly diagnosed with a medical illness