During a pelvic exam, your doctor visually and manually assesses your reproductive organs. A pelvic exam usually is done as part of a woman's regular checkup, or your doctor may recommend a pelvic exam if you're having symptoms such as unusual vaginal discharge or pelvic pain.

A pelvic exam is a relatively short procedure. In the course of a pelvic exam, your doctor checks your vulva, vagina, cervix, uterus, rectum and pelvis, including your ovaries, for masses, growths or other abnormalities. A Pap test, which screens for cervical cancer, may be performed during a pelvic exam.

May. 24, 2011