Bimanual Exam and Other Exams
Bimanual exam After the speculum is removed, the doctor will do a gentle exam to feel your reproductive organs. This is a Bimanual exam —which means it's done with two hands. It's used to check the size, shape, consistency, and location of the cervix and uterus.
Here's how a bimanual exam goes: With one hand, the doctor presses on your lower belly area (abdomen) from the outside. One or two fingers (gloved and lubricated) from the other hand are placed inside the vagina. Then the doctor's hands move gently to both sides of the abdomen to find the ovaries and check for any areas that feel unusual or tender.
You may feel a little tenderness —this is normal because ovaries are sensitive to pressure, and it doesn't mean anything is wrong. But speak up if you feel any pain —this isn't a test of your bravery. Telling your doctor about pain or discomfort lets her/him adjust the exam a little, and may be important for her/him to know.
The breast exam Now, it really is just about over! For the breast exam, the doctor will stand at the side of the table and feel the breast tissue for lumps. The doctor examines all around the breast with his or her fingers in a kind of rolling motion —like kneading bread but much more gentle! Additionally, the doctor squeezes the nipples to check for any discharge. This exam is quick and easy and not usually uncomfortable. It's important that you know how to examine your own breasts. It's an easy and very good thing to do. The doctor may explain it to you and show you —so pay attention! If she or he doesn't offer —ask for instruction on how to do a breast exam. (For detailed info on how to do a self-breast exam, click here.) The rectal exam Just when you think it's over it's possible (but unlikely) that the doctor will do a rectal exam. Take a few deep breaths and relax. She or he will put one gloved, lubricated finger into your rectum to check for irregularities, and to complete your evaluation. Again, it shouldn't be painful, especially if you can relax. But let the doctor know if it is. The very, very end So that's it! The doctor will let you know you can get dressed. When you're finished, just go to the front desk like you would after any exam. Don't forget any prescriptions you need, and make sure you have all the information/brochures you asked for. Oh, and don't forget to schedule another visit for next year!
Learn about the bimanual exam and learn helpful tips and tricks at BeingGirl.com.