7 doctors weighed in:
What are the differences between a pelvic exam and a pap smear?
7 doctors weighed in

Dr. Ruth Crystal
Obstetrics & Gynecology
3 doctors agree
In brief: 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.

In brief: 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.
Dr. Ruth Crystal
Dr. Ruth Crystal
Thank
Dr. Carolyn Quist
Gynecology
2 doctors agree
In brief: Very specific
A pelvic exam means visually and/or physically evaluating all the organs of the pelvis including the outer genitalia, the vagina, cervix, uterus, fallopian tubes and ovaries.
A pap smear is the specific test that involves scraping the surface of the outer cervix and inner cervical canal for cells to evalute under the microscope for abnormalities.

In brief: Very specific
A pelvic exam means visually and/or physically evaluating all the organs of the pelvis including the outer genitalia, the vagina, cervix, uterus, fallopian tubes and ovaries.
A pap smear is the specific test that involves scraping the surface of the outer cervix and inner cervical canal for cells to evalute under the microscope for abnormalities.
Dr. Carolyn Quist
Dr. Carolyn Quist
Thank
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