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Doctor insights on: Pelvic Exam Vs. Pap Smear

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What are the differences between a pelvic exam and a pap smear?

What are the differences between a pelvic exam and a pap smear?

Pap vs Pelvic Exam: For a pap, the doctor places a speculum in the vagina and uses a small soft brush to sample some cervical cells. The cells are sent to a lab to check for cervical cancer.
A pelvic exam includes a bimanual exam where the provider places a finger in the vagina and uses her other hand on the abdomen. By doing this, the doc/np is able to tell the size of uterus and ovaries. ...Read more

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Dr. Srbislav Brasovan
321 Doctors shared insights

Pelvic Exam (Definition)

Physical exam involving examination of the outside of the female genitalia (vulva), the inside (vagina), as well as an examination of the cervix, uterus, tubes, ovaries, and tissue around the uterus (parametria). A bimanual exam then involves 2 fingers in the vagina with the other hand on the abdomen. A rectovaginal exam is one finger inthe vagina, one finger in the rectum with ...Read more


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When should you have a pelvic exam and a pap smear test?

When should you have a pelvic exam and a pap smear test?

At age 21: Current guidelines recommend the first pap smear at age 21. Pap smears are to be taken every other year until age 30 and then every 3 years thereafter if you have 3 normals in a row and no abnormals for the previous 10 years. Pelvic exams should begin when you are sexually active to monitor for infections, or if you are having problems with menstrual cycles, etc. ...Read more

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Can you be forced to get a pap smear or pelvic exam?

Can you be forced to get a pap smear or pelvic exam?

No.: Even if it is medically recommended. You cannot be forced a medical exam such as a pap smear or a pelvic exam. Obviously not getting tests or exams done has pros/cons. Make sure you weigh the risks of deciding or not deciding to do a certain exam or test. If pregnant, you're not just making decision for yourself, but also for baby. ...Read more

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Would trichomonas be detected on a pelvic exam that did not include a pap smear?

Would trichomonas be detected on a pelvic exam that did not include a pap smear?

Yes: The best way to make a diagnosis of trichomonas is by collecting a sample of discharge in saline and looking at it under the microscope. The doctor can easily identify the moving trichomonads. When they are dried on a pap smear, they can be confused with vaginal cells. ...Read more

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I'm considering going for my first pelvic exam & Pap smear. I'm 21, a virgin, & concerned about pain. Will the speculum hurt or tear my hymen?

I'm considering going for my first pelvic exam & Pap smear. I'm 21, a virgin, & concerned about pain. Will the speculum hurt or tear my hymen?

Not to worry.: Women and girls may be judged by their happiness, their friendliness, and many other wonderful traits, but not by the condition of their hymens. It makes absolutely no difference whether a person has a big hymen, little hymen, broken hymen, unbroken hymen, etc... One need not worry about hymens when seeing her doctor, as it cannot matter in a free, modern, equitable society. ...Read more

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Will a pelvic exam and pap smear detect pcos and/or endometriosis?

No: Not really. The pelvic exam can rule out any masses or major abnormalities. Pcos is diagnosed based on clinical findings and abnormalities in blood work (hormonal). Endometriosis is diagnosed by laparoscopy. ...Read more

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If your doc told you they didn't want to do a pap smear because they did not want to hurt you bc the vaginna was the size of a babys why a pelvic exam?

Fear of Pelvic Exams: Perhaps this doctor does not have the experience at this time to do the pelvic exam. But a pelvic exam is needed to check for disease such as cervical disease and ovarian disease and especially if she is sexually active or has had children. Usually women over a certain age do not get them especially after 75 and not sexually active. ...Read more

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How to know if I need a pelvic exam or a pap smear to get birth control?

How to know if I need a pelvic exam or a pap smear to get birth control?

Expect to: Most recommend pelvic exams by 21 or within two years of starting sexual activity. Birth control requests would fall in this category. Any sexual activity requires surveillance for evidence of cervical dysplasia or std's. Your primary care provider may refer you for specific consultations when necessary. ...Read more

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If I go to the doctor, when do they have to do a pelvic exam/pap smear/mammogram?

If I go to the doctor, when do they have to do a pelvic exam/pap smear/mammogram?

Yearly mammogram: It is recommended that women over 40 get a yearly mammogram with a clinical breast examination. As far as the frequency of pelvic exam and pap smear it would be best to check with your primary health care provider or gynecologist. Perhaps another expert on HealthTap can answer that for you. ...Read more

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Is it ok to start using depo before a pelvic exam or Pap smear? And what should one do to prevent bone loss on depo?

Is it ok to start using depo before a pelvic exam or Pap smear? And what should one do to prevent bone loss on depo?

Yes: Yes. Depo Provera (medroxyprogesterone) will not affect your pelvic exam or Pap smear. Bone density that is lost while taking Depo is likely to be recovered naturally once Depo is stopped. Your risk of fracture as you age will be similar to that of someone who never took Depo. That said, you can help prevent bone loss by exercising and getting adequate calcium. ...Read more

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My last pap smear/pelvic exam was 7yrs ago&came back abnormal. Because getting examined triggers my rape, I haven't seen a doctor&want to. I'm scared?

My last pap smear/pelvic exam was 7yrs ago&came back abnormal. Because getting examined triggers my rape, I haven't seen a doctor&want to. I'm scared?

Talk to your obg/yn: Speak wit your doctor about your experiences. Let them know about the abuse and that the exam triggers flashbacks. They can work with you to help reduce tha anxiety. If you are in therapy have your therapist consult with your doctor. If your pap smear was irregular you do not want to neglect following up. Take care of yourself don't let the trauma control you or impede your health. ...Read more

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Why do you spot blood or get brownish spotting after a pelvic exam/pap smear? Only notice on toilet paper after urination.

Why do you spot blood or get brownish spotting after a pelvic exam/pap smear? Only notice on toilet paper after urination.

Maybe just ok...: Give at least one week to pass by and I would not worry as long as getting better and better day by day.

If any doubt, see and talk with professionals with a proper urinalysis to clear and address your personal concern.

Meanwhile practice healthy lifestyle and avoid any forms of overindulgence and obsession.

Best wish... ...Read more

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A couple skin tags now 1 tiny one inside vagina one outside. Had Pap smear in April was normal also pelvic exam, doctor said all was well. What could it?

A couple skin tags now 1 tiny one inside vagina one outside. Had Pap smear in April was normal also pelvic exam, doctor said all was well. What could it?

Warts?: You need to be checked again to be sure these are not venereal warts, which can be sexually transmitted. See your doctor again. Good luck! ...Read more

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I was dxed with a UTI on 12/23. I have a ob/gyn appt 12/30 for a pelvic exam/pap smear. Would the UTI effect this? Should I reschedule?

No problem: If you have a UTI now and are being treated, the infection should be gone by the time of your exam 12/30. Having just had a UTI will not interfere with an exam. ...Read more

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Postcoital bleeding most times wen dry for over a yr, no std, pap smear and pelvic exam are normal, what could be the cause, becoming a bother :/?

Lubricant: If you have had a negative pelvic exam this may simply be due to trauma to the mucosal wall of the vagina because of lack of lubrication. There are numerous OTC products available. Check Amazon, CVS, etc. Also, Cosmopolitan magazine has had articles about this. Good luck and I hope this helps. ...Read more

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What do they test for during an obgyn pelvic exam? Pap smear and then they swab for something? Do they check for non-std infections?

Some: The pap smear with ancillary testing is quite useful, not only in evaluating for cancerous and precancerous lesions, but there are also a variety of infections (both sexually and non-sexually transmitted) that can be identified in the pap smear (hpv, trich, herpes, bacterial vaginosis, candida, gonorrhea and chlamydia). However, not all infections can be seen in a pap smear. ...Read more

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Dr. Jie Xu Dr. Xu
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On oc pills for years. Spotting last month. Dr. Advises pap smear (normal in 2011) & pelvis exam. Necessary? I thought spotting on oc is not a concern

Dr. Jie Xu Dr. Xu
1 doctor agreed:
On oc pills for years. Spotting last month. Dr. Advises pap smear (normal in 2011) & pelvis exam. Necessary? I thought spotting on oc is not a concern

Although: Breakthrough bleeding and spotting can occur while on coc, there are many other reasons someone can spot, i.e. Cervical infection or abnormality. Your doctor wants to make sure nothing else is wrong. I would schedule a visit or give him or her a call for clarification. Good luck! ...Read more

Dr. Ed Friedlander
940 Doctors shared insights

Pap Smear (Definition)

A pap smear (cervical smear) is a text looking at the cells from the canal and outside of the cervix to see if any abnormalities (especially ...Read more


Cervical Smear (Definition)

A cervical smear or pap smear is a text looking at cells from the outside and canal of the cervi to see if ...Read more