Speculum Examination and Bimanual Pelvic Examination
A speculum examination and a bimanual pelvic examination are often
done together. These examinations are used to evaluate the overall health of a
woman's reproductive organs.
For these tests, the woman lies on her back on an examination table
with her legs parted and her feet resting off to the side in devices called
For the speculum examination, the health
professional inserts an instrument called a speculum into the woman's vagina.
The speculum helps to spread apart the walls of the vagina, allowing the health
professional to see the cervix and the walls of the vagina. Samples of tissue
may also be collected for testing.
A bimanual pelvic examination often follows
the speculum examination. It is done to check a woman's pelvic organs (such as
the uterus and ovaries). The speculum is removed and the health professional
inserts two gloved, lubricated fingers into the woman's vagina while pressing
on her abdomen with the other hand (bimanual means with two hands). This allows
the health professional to feel where and how large the woman's pelvic organs
are. The woman can tell the health professional if it hurts when her organs are
touched or moved.