Gynecologists use a speculum, a colposcope, a laminaria stick, sponge forceps and other tools to examine and perform surgery on the reproductive organs of females. Most gynecologists are obstetricians as well, which means they use obstetrics tools to test female organs for disease and provide prenatal and postnatal care.
The speculum is the most commonly used tool in gynecology. It is made of plastic or metal and is inserted into the vagina so the gynecologist can examine the pelvic area or easily retrieve a sample. It is usually lubricated before insertion to decrease discomfort.
The colposcope illuminates and magnifies the gynecologist's view of the vagina, cervix and vulva to aid in detection of cancerous cells or any abnormalities. The procedure is called a colposcopy and is usually painless since it does not involve insertion.
The laminaria stick is a rod made of a brown algae called laminaria that expands when inserted in the cervix, dilating and inducing labor. Sponge forceps are used in surgeries such as female sterilization, insertion of intrauterine devices and removal of polyps.
Each tool may vary in size, material and shape. For example, sponge forceps are one type of many kinds of forceps and are used in gynecological procedures to reduce the risk of shock and trauma.