Health Magazine posted a thought provoking article on the pelvic exam debate. Here we share it with you. What is your opinion on pelvic exams? Let us know in the comments!
You’ve likely heard that a doctor’s group now says that you can probably skip the annual pelvic exam if you aren’t pregnant or having any problems. But don’t start jumping for joy just yet.
Another doctor’s group (of course) isn’t all that happy with the new guidelines, which were issued by the American College of Physicians, or ACP. The ACP says that some parts of the pelvic exam (palpitating the ovaries, for example), aren’t all that helpful, rarely detecting important diseases or saving lives, and that they’re uncomfortable and cost extra. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists begs to differ.
The ACP guidelines, based on a survey of medical literature from the past 70 years, contradict those issued by ACOG, which still recommends annual pelvic exams for all women 21 years of age and over.
“I feel that [the ACP guidelines] are based on limited data and that annual pelvic exams do offer benefits so they shouldn’t be discontinued as routine exams,” says Taraneh Shirazian, MD, assistant professor of obstetrics, gynecology, and reproductive science at Mount Sinai’s Icahn School of Medicine in New York City and a former ACOG board member.
What is a pelvic exam?
Most women are all too familiar with the routine pelvic exam. The complete exam consists of an external look at the vulva, an internal look at the vagina and cervix with a speculum (a plastic or metal instrument), a Pap smear to test for cervical abnormalities and the “bimanual” exam.
It’s the speculum and […]