Preparation for Pelvic Examination

A pelvic exam is a complete physical exam of a woman's pelvic organs by a health professional. A pelvic exam helps a health professional evaluate the size and position of the vagina, cervix, uterus, and ovaries.

A pelvic exam may be done to help detect certain cancers in their early stages, infections, sexually transmitted infections (STIs), or other reproductive system problems.

Try to schedule a pelvic exam when you're not on your period. Do not douche beforehand, as it may alter the results of a Pap smear. Abstain from sexual intercourse for a day or two before your exam.

If you're feeling uncomfortable about the procedure, talk to your doctor about your concerns. You may want to ask if a loved one can come to your appointment with you.