What Takes Place During a Gynecological Exam?

During a gynecological exam, the doctor inserts a speculum into the vagina to view the cervix and then collects cells from the cervix to send to a lab to look for abnormalities, notes WebMD. The doctor may also collect vaginal fluid to test for infection, and he may perform bimanual and rectal exams.

Before the exam, the woman undresses privately and puts on an examination gown before lying on the exam table, according to WebMD. The doctor presses on the lower stomach, feeling the organs from the outside. The woman places her feet in the stirrups of the examination table, bending her knees.

The doctor inserts a speculum into the vagina. A speculum is a device that widens the vaginal opening and holds it open so that the doctor sees the cervix more clearly, notes WebMD. The doctor then uses a tiny brush and spatula to retrieve the Pap smear specimens and then removes the speculum. The doctor performs a bimanual exam by inserting two fingers into the vagina and pressing down on the area with the other hand to feel for abnormalities. The doctor may also perform a rectal exam to check for abnormal growths or tumors. This exam involves the insertion of a gloved finger into the rectum.