Gynecological examinations are procedures that are used to evaluate the health of a woman's reproductive system. A speculum is typically used during the general examination to view the vagina and cervix. This can tell us about the infection in these areas. Further cultures can be done, and swabs can be taken to rule out infection through the speculum examination. Every woman must know what to expect and tests that should be covered when you visit a gynaecologist next time. Here is Dr. Astha Jain Mathur, Consultant Obstetrician & Gynaecologist, Motherhood Hospitals, Indore, Madhya Pradesh explaining all about gynaecologist examination.
Breast Examination & Mammography
The doctor examines the woman's breasts while she is sitting, looking for irregularities, dimpling, tightened skin, lumps, and discharge. The woman then sits or lies down, arms above her head, while the doctor uses a flat hand to feel (palpate) each breast and examines each armpit for enlarged lymph nodes, lumps, and abnormalities. During the examination, the doctor may go over the breast self-examination technique with the woman.
Mammography-This test is an X-ray of the breast.Together with regular clinical exams and monthly breast self-examinations, this test is essential in diagnosing breast cancer at the early stage.
All patients should have a complete gynecologic examination, including speculum examination and bimanual examination. The external genitalia should be examined first and any abnormalities in pelvic structure should be investigated. Any abnormal discharge, skin exfoliation and foul smell should all be recorded.
Pelvic Examination is performed when:
- Women have symptoms like pelvic pain.
- Cervical cancer screening or another disorder screening is required.
Women should discuss with their health care provider whether pelvic examinations are necessary and how frequently they should be performed. Most women should begin having cervical cancer screening tests, such as Pap test, at the age of 25 or after marriage.
The pelvic examination includes the examination of the reproductive organs on the outside. And if there are any concerns, swabs and papsmears are required.
Test for gynecological disorder
The following are two important screening tests for women:
- Cervical cell (cytology) testing, such as the Papanicolaou (Pap) test or human papillomavirus (HPV) test, can be used to screen for cervical cancer (the lower part of the uterus)
- Mammography is done to screen for breast cancer.
Women who are at risk of sexually transmitted diseases (such as chlamydial infections or gonorrhea) should be screened. Other screening tests are performed as part of prenatal care.
Cervical Cancer Screening
Cervical cancer screening tests include the following:
- Papanicolaou (Pap) test: Cells from the cervix are examined under a microscope to see if any are cancerous or abnormal and may progress to cancer if left untreated (precancerous cells).
- Human papillomavirus (HPV) test: A cervix sample is tested to see if HPV is present. There are changes in cervical cancer due to HPV.
Both the Pap test and the HPV test require a sample from the cervix. Doctors collect the sample that is sent to a laboratory, where they are examined under a microscope for abnormal cells that could indicate precancerous changes or, in rare cases, cervical cancer.
Sexually Transmitted Disease Screening
Women who are at risk of sexually transmitted diseases should be screened for these diseases at least once a year, even if they are asymptomatic.
- Women aged 25 and under who are sexually active
- Women who have multiple sex partners are at risk
- Women who have had several sex partners or whose partner is bisexual
- Women who are contracted with a sexually transmitted disease
- Women who do not use a barrier contraceptive on a regular basis, are not in a mutually monogamous relationship, or are unsure whether the relationship is mutually monogamous.
Your doctor will give you a pelvic exam. They may also use an ultrasound to look at your ovaries and uterus and give you a blood test to check your hormones. Sometimes, you’ll need to start tracking your ovulation patters by checking your cervical mucus, taking your temperature, or using ovulation test or tubal patency test
Ovulation testing- Also, called as ovulation predictor test, that checks the urine to let a woman know when she is most likely to be fertile.
Tubal patency test- The test is performed to know whether a woman's fallopian tubes are patent or blocked. This test is determined by an x-ray test called Hystero (uterus) salpingo (fallopian tube) graphy (HSG). It is a standard radiological imaging study that is used to determine if the fallopian tubes are open and free of diseases.
These tests are done to screen reproductive system of a women and find if there is any underlying condition that require medical intervention. The whole purpose of this examination is to detect health issues at the earliest and treat them accordingly.
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