The Female Pelvic Exam – Maternal Health Example

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"The Female Pelvic Exam" is a great example of a paper on maternal health. A female pelvic exam is an examination of the birth canal, uterus or the womb, the ovaries, and the fallopian tubes by a health professional. The check of the uterus includes the cervix (the opening of the uterus into the vagina). The female pelvic examination includes a number of processes. The doctor will first inspect your vagina and vulva visually where they shall be looking for blush, exasperation, emancipation, enlargements, or any presence of a sexually transmitted disease. He will check the skin and glands on the outside opening of the vagina and look for any enlargement, lesions, or growths.

(Bates, Carroll & Potter, 2011) Next, the doctor will perform a speculum test which is conducted by inserting a speculum (sometimes warm) into the vagina gently and hold the vagina walls open. This is a thin lubricated stainless steel or a plastic device shaped like a bill of a duck (Bates, Carroll & Potter, 2011). It will open the vagina just enough to allow the examiner to look at the surface of the vagina and cervix and check for irritation, infection, or growth.

The patient should try to stay relaxed at this time and try to breathe deeply and slowly in order to keep the abdominal muscle relaxed and make it easier for your examiner to do the exam. The patient may feel a pulling sensation during the exam. After the speculum test, the examiner performs a pap smear. This is whereby the examiner sweeps the cervix, before removing the speculum, with a spatula-like device. He collects cells with the spatula from the cervix at the top of the vagina.

The cells are later examined in the lab where a sample vaginal discharge may also be tested. After the samples are tested the examiner will remove the speculum. By looking at the cells the examiner can then diagnose conditions such as cancer or sexually transmitted diseases. After the Pap smear test, the examiner then performs a manual examination where he/she shall physically inspect the internal reproductive and sexual organs. The examiner will insert one or two lubricated, gloved fingers in the vagina and use the other hand to feel and check the abdomen for irregularities in the uterus, fallopian tubes, and ovaries.

This is done to make sure they are normal by feeling their size and shape. This will also enable the examiner to check for pregnancy. To the patient, this may cause a little discomfort but it is painless (Owen, Hankins, Iams, Berghella, et al, 2009). Sometimes, the examiner might also check the rectum to check for any irregularities or abnormalities in the tissues between the rectum and the reproductive organ. This is done by the examiner inserting fingers in both the rectum and the vagina at the same time.

The rectum check might be performed on persons over the age of fifty years to check for cancerous lumps (Bates, Carroll & Potter, 2011). After the examination, the examiner will evaluate the results of the examination and he/she will tell you of any abnormality in your system. This will help the doctor to advise you accordingly in case of any complications and also help you counteract the problem at an early stage (Owen et al, 2009).


Bates, C. K., Carroll, N., & Potter, J. (2011). The Challenging Pelvic Examination. Journal of General Internal Medicine, 26(6), 651-657

Day Baird, D., Dunson, D. B., Hill, M. C., Cousins, D., & Schectman, J. M. (2003). High cumulative incidence of uterine leiomyoma in black and white women: ultrasound evidence. American journal of obstetrics and gynecology, 188(1), 100-107.

J. C. (2009). Multicenter randomized trial of cerclage for preterm birth prevention in high-risk women with shortened mid-trimester cervical length. American journal of obstetrics and gynecology, 201(4), 375-e1.

Owen, J., Hankins, G., Iams, J. D., Berghella, V., Sheffield, J. S., Perez-Delboy, A., & Hauth,

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