What is a gynecological examination?

A gynecological examination is an examination conducted by a gynecologist in order to assess the state of health of certain organs in the female body.


What is the purpose of a gynecological examination?

Through a gynecological examination the doctor can assess the health of female genitalia and exclude the presence of diseases. This is a regular inspection that becomes an opportunity to prevent issues such as cervical cancer, fibroids, or pelvic endometriosis by performing a Pap test. The visit is also used if there is a menstrual cycle problem such as irregularities, pain and heavy bleeding, or if the patient wants help on conceiving a baby, checking a suspected pregnancy, for issues regarding pain during intercourse, for problems involving the breast, and for disorders related to menopause.


How is a gynecological examination carried out?

A gynecologist will ask about the medical history of the patient and the women of her family, of any symptoms experienced, and of any interventions that have taken place in the past.
A gynecologist will proceed by examining the external genitalia, vaginal entrance, and breasts. The doctor may conduct an ultrasound check that allows for the assessment of the health of the uterus, or to verify a suspected pregnancy in the very early stages. In some cases though more rare, it may be necessary to perform a rectal examination.
In younger women, especially before their first sexual experience, it may not be necessary to examine inside the vaginal entrance. Finally, the doctor may also evaluate the health of the thyroid and lymph nodes.


Are there any guidelines for preparation?

There are no guidelines for preparation. It is best to empty the bladder before the examination, except if the doctor ask specifically not to for specific tests.