Hesperian Health Guides

The pelvic exam

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HealthWiki > A Book for Midwives > Chapter 20: The Pelvic Exam: how to examine a woman's vagina and womb > The pelvic exam


Before you start:

  • make sure that you have privacy.
  • prepare all the tools you will need for the exam:


The speculum and gloves should be sterile if you are doing a pelvic exam to insert an IUD or to do an MVA. Otherwise, a very clean speculum is OK.

clean or sterile
speculum
clean or sterile
plastic gloves
light mirror clean cloths for
wiping after the exam
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  • Ask the woman to urinate before the exam. This will make the exam more comfortable for her.
  • Ask the woman to remove her pants or pull up her skirt. If she wants something to cover her legs, give her a sheet or cloth.
  • Ask her to lie on her back with her knees up and her buttocks at the end of the table or bed.
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  • Wash your hands with clean water and soap. Your fingernails should be short and clean.
  • Put clean plastic gloves on your hands.