Pelvic exam: An examination of the organs of the female reproductive system.
In a pelvic exam, a speculum (an instrument for opening and widening certain passages of the body) is used to open the vagina and aid in visualizing the uterine cervix. A sample of cells may be taken off the surface of the cervix for a Pap smear or a sample may be obtained for laboratory culture. The uterus womb and ovaries are felt with the fingers to detect swellings or other abnormalities.
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Last Editorial Review: 6/9/2016