With a pelvic exam, a doctor might be able to detect pregnancy several weeks after conception. This is especially by feeling the cervix. However, this is something that only an experienced doctor or gynecologist will be able to figure out.
Even at that, there are no hundred percent certainties and this explains the need to rely on other pregnancy tests. Other than the start of morning sickness, pregnancy test options like ultrasound and some blood tests are better suited for women who want to check for pregnancy. This is especially for those who want early detection for a quick prenatal appointment and/or other reasons.
Seeing that it is better to detect pregnancy using several other screening methods, what then are pelvic exams for? As a provider of health-centered information, the sexuality segment of the IST Health website will answer this question and a few other related questions.
The Essence of a Pelvic Exam
You can expect to find answers to issues as regards vaginal and reproductive health with this exam. This is the major aim of a visit to the clinic or health care service provider for this test. This test can help you find out:
- If you have a sexually transmitted disease like HPV (also called Human Papillomavirus)- A pap smear test will have to be conducted alongside a pelvic exam to find out
- If you have early stages of cervical cancer – A pap smear test will have to be conducted alongside a pelvic exam to find out. This requires taking out cervical cells that will be reviewed during the diagnosis
- If you have fibroid in the womb
- The underlying medical reasons for women’s health conditions like abnormal vaginal discharge, pelvic pain, and vaginal bleeding
There are various sides to this exam. But by and large, women’s reproductive health organs and parts like the vagina, uterus, pelvis, vulva, cervix, ovaries, and rectum are examined. Other than women with possible reproductive health conditions, women are advised to go for pelvic exams periodically.
These are especially women that have a history of reproductive health conditions. Because some of these cases can be genetic, any woman from a family with prevalent reproductive health issues should also carry out this screening periodically. This is to avoid the risk of minor health issues degenerating into severe health issues.
Will Pelvic Exam Affect the Baby in the Womb?
A pelvic exam will not affect the baby in the uterus (womb). The major reason is that the examined areas are out of reach of the womb. So, pelvic exams do not cause miscarriage or affect the anticipated birth of the baby in the uterus.
It can be carried out even up until the last trimester before the birth of the pregnancy. There are even situations in which it might be conducted a week before a pregnant woman’s EDD. That is how harmless this screening can be (if done properly). In rare cases, this screening can cause vaginal bleeding and even this will not harm the child.
We have other information on our website’s sexuality segment that you will find helpful. For example, you can learn about signs that suggest labor is 24 to 48 hours away.