When and how often should I get a pelvic exam?
A pelvic exam should only be done for women aged 21 years old and up. It is more common for women to undergo a pelvic exam once a year, usually as a part of general physical checkups.
There are a number of other reasons for women to take a pelvic exam. These include:
- Pelvic pain
- Unusual vaginal discharge or bleeding
- Possessing a family history of cancer
- Addressing concerns about cysts, sexually transmitted diseases, and other gynecological issues
It is advisable to have a Pap smear every three years.
It is not recommended for women under the age of 21 to undergo a pelvic exam. Tests done on women of this age can lead to over-treatment, false-positive tests, anxiety, and unnecessary costs.
Pelvic exam procedure results
Most of the time, your doctor will be able to determine during your pelvic exam if there is anything unusual. On the other hand, the results for a Pap smear usually takes a day or two.
With your results, your doctor may recommend any medication that you might need, additional tests, or even schedule you for a follow-up appointment or treatment.