Skip The Stirrups: Doctors Rethink Yearly Pelvic Exams

What You Need to Know: The American College of Physicians said Monday that it strongly recommends against annual pelvic exams for healthy, low-risk women. In fact, the intrusive exams may do more harm than good for women who aren’t pregnant or don’t have signs of problems, a group of doctors wrote in the Annals of Internal Medicine. So, No More Pelvic Exams? Not so fast. The recommendation to omit them for women at healthy, low risk women is not shared by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. My Take: There is no evidence to support or refute the annual pelvic examination for the asymptomatic, low-risk patient. For now, you should discuss (with your healthcare providers) whether a full exam is necessary. But don’t forget the PAP smear, as it saves lives. There’s no evidence that the bimanual exam cuts your risk of dying from ovarian cancer, however, so your doctor may want to skin the manual exam. The small print: The material presented herein is informational only, and is not designed to provide specific guidance for an individual. Please check with a valued health care provider with any questions or concerns. As for me, I am a Harvard- , Yale- and UPenn-educated radiation oncologist, and I practice in the Seattle, WA (USA) area. I feel genuinely privileged to be able to share with you. If you enjoyed today’s offering, please consider clicking the follow button at the bottom of this page. Available now: Understand Colon Cancer in 60 Minutes; Understand Brain Glioma in 60 Minutes. Both can be found at the Apple Ibooks store. Coming Soon for iPad: Understand Breast Cancer in 60 Minutes; Understand Colon Cancer in 60 Minute; Understand Colon Cancer in 60 Minutes; Understand Brain Glioma in 60 Minutes. Thank you. Reference: