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J Gen Intern Med. 2011 Jun;26(6):651-7. doi: 10.1007/s11606-010-1610-8. Epub 2011 Jan 12.

The challenging pelvic examination.

Author information

1
Division of General Medicine and Primary Care, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, MA, USA. cbates@bidmc.harvard.edu

Abstract

While there is a large body of evidence on the effectiveness of Pap smears for cervical cancer screening and on screening for cervical gonorrhea and Chlamydia, there is sparse evidence to support other portions of the pelvic examination and little guidance on examination logistics. Maximizing comfort should be the goal; lubrication use and careful speculum selection and insertion can ease this intrusive procedure. This is particularly important in adolescent and menopausal women, sexual minorities, obese women, women with disabilities, and women with a history of trauma or prior instrumentation affecting the genitalia. We review the evidence and provide guidance to minimize physical and psychological discomfort with pelvic examination.

PMID:
21225474
PMCID:
PMC3101979
DOI:
10.1007/s11606-010-1610-8
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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