Although it takes a very short time, only 1-2 minutes, gynecological examination arouses excitement and fear in many women. These concerns are at their peak, especially in people who will be examined for the first time. Regular gynecological examination is an indispensable element of women’s health. It is extremely important that every sexually active woman, whether or not she has any complaints, should be examined once a year. In this way, many diseases, including cancer, can be detected in the early stages and can be treated with very easy methods.
Before the examination, the patient is asked to remove their underwear, lie down on the gynecological table and place their legs on the legs of the table. At this stage, the patient should be accompanied by a nurse or a female nurse. This reduces anxiety and fear in most patients. This examination position is called “gynecological position” or “lithotomy position”. This position is really uncomfortable both physically and mentally, but it is the most suitable method for gynecological examination.
The purpose of the annual examination is to evaluate the position and health of all organs that make up the reproductive system, together with the external genitalia. Do not hesitate to ask your doctor any questions you may have or wonder during the examination.
Gynecological examination consists of 3 steps. These are the examination of external genitalia, speculum examination and bimanual examination, respectively.
Examination of the external genitalia
At this stage, the physician examines the external genitalia by wearing gloves. It looks for redness, irritation, discharge, cyst or mass, genital wart (condyloma) or any other abnormality. This part of the exam takes a few seconds. At this stage, there is no procedure that will cause pain.
The metal or plastic instrument used to examine the cervix and vagina is called speculum. The tool is shaped like a duckbill. It is inserted into the vagina closed and opened slowly. In this way, the cervix appears between the two spoons of the speculum. Many physicians prefer to warm the speculum or use a lubricant before inserting it. You may feel a fullness in the vagina while the speculum is being inserted. If you experience pain at this stage, tell your doctor. Using a smaller speculum may reduce symptoms.
During the speculum examination, the vaginal walls are examined for possible lesions, redness and discharge. Likewise, if there is any wound in the cervix, the presence of discharge, color and shape changes and other abnormal conditions are evaluated. The presence of infection is investigated. If a smear is to be taken, it is taken at this stage.
After speculum examination and smear collection, the speculum is removed from the vagina and a manual examination is started. Here, your doctor inserts two fingers into the vagina with his gloved hand. The other hand is located on your lower abdomen, close to the groin. This is called a bimanual (two-handed) manual. While the internal genital organs are pushed upwards with the hand in the vagina, they are pressed down with the upper hand, thus trying to feel the organs between the two hands.
The purpose of this examination
Applying pressure on the uterus is not usually a painful procedure. Some patients may feel pain during the evaluation of the ovaries, but this pain is only a short-term pain during the procedure.
Points to be considered
- If you experience pain while inserting the speculum, it is most likely due to squeezing yourself too much. Try to relax. If the pain still persists, there may be an underlying problem.
To evaluate the size, shape and mobility of the uterus (uterus).
To detect the presence of tenderness, which is a sign of infection.
To evaluate whether there is a cyst or mass in the ovaries, and if so, its structure.
To understand whether there is a mass filling the pelvis in the pelvis, if there is, to evaluate its structure.
Vaginal lubricants, spermicides and suppositories should not be used 1-2 days before, in order not to leave room for erroneous results and interpretations of the examination. If you are going to have sexual intercourse, condom should be used.
Examination should not be performed during menses and especially on the first day unless the examination is necessary.
Smear cannot be taken during menses or if there is bleeding.
Try to remain calm and relaxed during the examination.
Ask your doctor any question that comes to your mind before and during the examination.