Empathic Pelvic Examination

  • Rhina Acevedo


The pelvic examination is an important and basic procedure for women’s healthcare providers. It is an integral part of the evaluation of common gynecologic and abdominal complaints including pelvic pain, vaginal discharge, vaginal bleeding, and irregular menses. Pelvic examinations are also part of the annual routine women’s health examination [1]. The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology recommends a routine biennial gynecologic examination beginning at age 21 [2]. If a woman has had three normal examinations on a yearly basis, the interval between examinations may increase to every 1–3 years after age 30, at the discretion of the woman and her clinician [3].


Pelvic Pain Vaginal Wall Vaginal Bleeding Pelvic Examination Vaginal Discharge 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. 1.
    Saslow D, Runowicz CD, Solomon D, Moscicki AB, Smith RA, Eyre HJ, Cohen C. American Cancer Society guideline for the early detection of cervical neoplasia and cancer. CA Cancer J Clin 2002;52(6):342–362.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    ACOG Practice Bulletin #109 “Cervical cytology screening.” Obstet Gynecol. 2009.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Smith RA, Cokkinides V, von Eschenbach AC, Levin B, Cohen C, Runowicz CD, Sener S, Saslow D, Eyre HJ. American Cancer Society Guideline for the early detection of cervical neoplasia and cancer. CA Cancer J Clin 2002;52(1):8–22.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Bohm-Velez M, Fleischer AC, Andreotti RF, Fishman EK, Horrow MM, Hricak H, Thurmond A, Zelop C. Expert panel on women’s imaging. Ovarian cancer screening. [online publication]. Reston, VA: American College of Radiology (ACR), 2005.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Chu CS, Rubin SC. Screening for ovarian cancer in the general population. Best Pract Res Clin Obstet Gynaecol 2006;20(2);307–320.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Seehusen DA, Johnson DR, Earwood JS, Sethuraman SN, Cornali J, Gillespie K, Doria M, Farnell E IV, Lanham J. Improving women’s experience during speculum examinations at routine gynaecological visits: randomised clinical trial. BMJ 2006;333(7560):171.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Additional Resources Articles

  1. Edelman A, Anderson J, Lai S, Braner DA, Tegtmeyer K. Pelvic examination. In Videos in clinical medicine. N Engl J Med 2007;356(26):e26.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Family MedicineUniversity of Medicine and Dentistry of New JerseyNew BrunswickUSA

Personalised recommendations