Why it's done

You might need a pelvic exam:

  • To assess your gynecological health. A pelvic exam often is part of a routine physical exam to find possible signs of ovarian cysts, sexually transmitted infections, uterine fibroids or early-stage cancer. Pelvic exams are also commonly performed during pregnancy.

    There is a lot of debate among experts regarding the recommended frequency of pelvic exams. Ask your doctor what he or she recommends.

  • To diagnose a medical condition. Your doctor might suggest a pelvic exam if you're experiencing gynecological symptoms such as pelvic pain, unusual vaginal bleeding, skin changes, abnormal vaginal discharge or urinary problems. A pelvic exam can help your doctor diagnose the causes of these symptoms. Your doctor might suggest additional diagnostic testing or treatment.