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Pelvic Exam During Pregnancy
What Is A Pelvic Exam During Pregnancy?
A pelvic exam during pregnancy is a procedure in which a doctor examines the genital region as well as the surrounding areas of the pelvis. The pelvic test is generally accompanied by general anesthesia. During a pelvic exam, vaginal fluids can also be collected to screen for infections. A pelvic exam checks the vulva, uterus, cervix, ovaries, intestine, and even the rectum in a pregnant woman.
Pregnancy is a period where you need to take care of yourself more than ever before. And it’s around this process that you’ll be seeing the doctor a lot. Prenatal check-ups, including a pelvic exam, will be conducted by your doctor. Each pregnancy checkup helps in ensuring your and your baby’s health. If you’re unsure about a pelvic exam during pregnancy, the following article, created by the A Date With Baby team, could be able to save the day.
When Is A Pelvic Exam Done During Pregnancy?
The pelvic test is usually performed during the first or third trimester of pregnancy. A pelvic exam can be performed in certain exceptional circumstances, such as when a mother is experiencing certain conditions. Continue reading to learn more.
During early pregnancy, a pelvic exam is performed to ensure that the cervix has been adequately covered by the mucus plug.
Pelvic exam during third-trimester pregnancy is a common prenatal procedure. This is performed on a regular basis, if not every visit to the hospital. The pelvic test is performed to determine the effacement and dilation of the cervix in order to determine the remaining period for delivery.
A pelvic exam may be performed at any point during your pregnancy if you are experiencing symptoms such as spotting, are at risk for preterm labor, have a visible change in the pelvic area, or have a vaginal infection.
Consider These Points Before Taking the Exam
If you decide to proceed with the pelvic examination, keep this information in mind:
- Before a pelvic check, make sure the bladder is totally empty.
- Keep yourself warm and well-protected.
- Since privacy is a big concern, you should decide ahead of time whether or not you want hospital or clinic employees present.
- Relax and take deep breaths to allow your pelvic floor muscles to relax as well.
How Is Pelvic Assessment During Pregnancy Done?
When a doctor performs a pelvic exam, the pelvis’s appearance, dimension, and positioning are normally studied. It’s also worth noting that a pelvic exam has mostly 2 parts: manual and visual.
The manual examination includes a visual inspection of the vulva, or more accurately, the external genitalia and an internal assessment of the vaginal walls. On the other hand, the visual inspection entails using a tube called a speculum to examine any of the pelvic organs.
Read below is how a pelvic test is performed:
- The first move entails displaying your lower body and lying down on a table on your back.
- The next step is to raise your knees and stretch your legs wide apart.
- The doctor will then insert her index and middle fingers into the vaginal canal and test the cervix with his gloved hands.
- After that, a speculum examination is performed. A speculum, or hollow cylinder with a blunt end, is inserted into the vaginal canal for this examination. When the speculum is inserted into the vagina, it opens up, making it easier for the doctor to do the test.
- During the pelvic exam, a Pap smear examination can be performed to screen for cancerous elements in the cervix.
- To rule out UTI and hemorrhoids, bladder and rectal scans are also performed.
Are There Any Risks Involved?
A pelvic exam can expose you to the following risks:
- Infections may spread as a result of a pelvic exam. This is attributed to bacteria that could be found in the vagina being moved up the cervix.
- Severe trauma, such as stimulation of the cervix, which could lead to labor, could also occur. In addition, if the baby has not yet matured enough to emerge, the chances of becoming a preterm baby increase.
- The pelvic exam can also correspond to a disorder known as PROM, i.e. premature breakup of the membrane.
Can Pelvic Exam Indicate When You Will Go Into Labour?
Though a pelvic exam might estimate when you’ll go into labor, knowing the precise time and date is unlikely. According to one report, as the baby reaches maximum development, a fluid is secreted from his lungs. This secreted substance then causes labor to begin. As a result, the analysis leaves out the possibility that a cervix test will predict when labor will start.
Bleeding After Pelvic Exam During Pregnancy
Furthermore, the doctor should clarify why the test is essential for your condition prior to the examination. If you notice spotting or bleeding following a pelvic exam when pregnant, don’t be alarmed.
Small bleeding following a pelvic exam is very common during pregnancy. However, if excessive bleeding happens after a pelvic exam, this may be a problem. If bleeding persists for more than 24 hours, see a doctor right away.
When your doctor says your cervix has dilated, it doesn’t mean you’re about to go into labor. A woman’s cervix is known to dilate by around 1-2 cm, sometimes for a couple of weeks.
We hope that the above material has answered all of your questions. It’s important to note that the pelvic test can only be done with your permission. You should consent to take the exam regardless of the circumstances.
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