St Clare Medical Building on St Mary Medical Center Campus Langhorne PA 215-750-7771
Obstetrics and Gynecology Common Terms:
Obstetrics: The field of study concentrated on pregnancy, childbirth, and the postpartum period.
Obstetrician: Commonly called an OB/GYN, is a physician who specializes in the management of pregnancy, labor, and birth.
Gynecology: The medical practice dealing with the health of the female reproductive systems and the breasts.
Gynecologist: A physician who specializes in treating diseases of the female reproductive organs and providing well-woman health care that focuses primarily on the reproductive organs.
Most Common Question asked…
What to expect during a pelvic exam?:
A pelvic examination is a thorough check of a woman's pelvic organs . The exam helps a physician or nurse practitioner see the size and position of the vagina, cervix, uterus, and ovaries.
Experts differ on how often a pelvic exam is needed. Talk to your physician or nurse practitioner about when to have this test.
A pelvic exam may be done:
• As part of a woman's regular physical checkup. The exam may include a Pap test.
• To find vaginal infections, such as yeast infections or bacterial vaginosis.
• To help find sexually transmitted infections, such as chlamydia, herpes, gonorrhea, trichomoniasis, or human papillomavirus (HPV).
• To help find the cause of abnormal uterine bleeding.
• To look for problems like uterine fibroids, ovarian cysts, or uterine prolapse .
• To find the cause of pain.
• Before prescribing a method of birth control. Some methods, such as a diaphragm or intrauterine device, require an exam to make sure the device fits well.
• To collect evidence in cases of suspected sexual assault.
How To Prepare:
Try to schedule the exam when you are not having your period. The blood can affect Pap test results. But the exam can be done during your period if you have a new vaginal discharge or new or increasing pain in that area.
Before the exam:
• Don't use douches, tampons, vaginal medicines, or vaginal sprays or powders for at least 24 hours.
• If you have abnormal vaginal discharge, don't have sex for 24 hours before the exam.
At the start of your visit, tell your Physician or Nurse Practitioner:
• The first day of your last menstrual period and how long your period lasted.
• If this is your first pelvic exam.
• If you are using a method of birth control.
• If you are or might be pregnant.
• If you have pelvic-area symptoms such as itching, redness, sores, swelling, or an unusual odor or increased vaginal discharge. If you have been performing regular vaginal self-exams, discuss with the Physician any changes you have noticed.
• If you have had surgery or other procedures, such as radiation therapy, involving the vagina, cervix, or uterus.
During the external exam, the Physician or Nurse Practitioner will:
• Check your vulva and the opening of your vagina for signs of redness, irritation, discharge, cysts, genital warts, and other abnormal conditions.
• Check inside your vagina with gloved fingers for any cysts or pus coming from the Bartholin glands.
• Gently insert a warmed speculum into your vagina . The speculum spreads apart the vaginal walls. This lets the physician see the inside of the vagina and the cervix. Check the walls of your vagina and your cervix for damage, growths, inflammation, unusual discharge, or discoloration.
• If you are due for a Pap test, the doctor or nurse will use a small brush or a spatula to gently collect a sample of cells from your cervix. You may have some staining or bleeding after the sample is taken. A sample of the cervical mucus may also be collected with a cotton swab. The mucus may be tested for sexually transmitted infections such as gonorrhea or chlamydia.
Your Physician or Nurse Practitioner will insert one or two gloved fingers of one hand into your vagina while placing the other hand on your lower belly. By pressing down on your belly and moving the fingers around inside your vagina, the doctor or nurse can find and feel the size, shape, and texture of the uterus and ovaries. Any unusual growths, tenderness, or pain can also be identified.
Your Physician or Nurse Practitioner will insert one finger into your rectum and one into your vagina. This helps the doctor or nurse evaluate your ovaries and uterus ligaments. This exam is not always done as part of a pelvic exam.
After the exam is finished, you will be given a tissue to wipe your vaginal area to remove any discharge from the exam. Then you will get dressed.
How It Feels
A pelvic exam is more comfortable if you are relaxed. Breathing deeply and having a light conversation with the Physician or Nurse Practitioner may help you relax. Try not to hold your breath or tense your muscles. You may feel some pressure or mild discomfort when the speculum is inserted into your vagina. Try to relax your legs and hips as much as you can. You may feel a brief pinch when the Pap test is taken. Tell your Physician if any part of the exam is painful. During the rectovaginal exam, you may feel as though you are about to have a bowel movement as the Physician withdraws a finger from your rectum. This is a normal sensation that lasts only a few seconds. You may have a small amount of vaginal discharge or bleeding after the exam.
Some test results may be available right away. But getting results from the Pap test may take several days to a couple of weeks.
1203 Langhorne-Newtown Rd
St. Clare Medical Building, Suite #221
Langhorne, PA 19047
Call Us: 215-750-7771
Monday: 7:30am to 8:00pm
Tuesday: 7:00am to 2:00pm
Wednesday: 7:00am to 6:00pm
Thursday: 7:00am to 8:00pm
Friday: 9:00am to 3:00pm
Phones available Monday through Friday from 8am to 4pm.
All other calls will be taken by our live operator answering service.
For medical emergency, call 911 immediately.