How soon can a doctor detect pregnancy by pelvic examination? A pelvic exam may be the first thing your doctor suggests if they suspect you may be pregnant. A doctor can assess a woman’s likelihood of becoming pregnant by looking for various signs and symptoms. None of the possible symptoms provide conclusive evidence of pregnancy. However, they usually serve as the initial indication that further testing is needed. Signs of pregnancy are usually classified into presumptive, probable, and proven signs. A doctor’s test or the birth of a baby is the only certain way to confirm a woman’s pregnancy. A doctor will first look for the probable and presumed signs, which are strong indicators. The likelihood of pregnancy increases with the number of signs that occur simultaneously.
What is a Pelvic Examination?
A pelvic examination is a diagnostic procedure used to check a woman’s pelvis for signs of disease. The pelvic region encompasses the uterus, cervix, vagina, fallopian tubes, ovaries, bladder, and rectum. Typically, this examination assesses the overall health of the female reproductive system.
The most common instrument used for pelvic exams is the speculum, which holds open the vaginal walls while the doctor examines the cervix and vagina. The speculum is made of plastic or metal. After sterilization, the metal speculum can be reused, while the plastic one is discarded after one use.
The bivalve speculum is the most common type of vaginal speculum. Additionally, there are speculums available in various sizes to accommodate adults, children, adolescents who are not sexually active, and adult women.
How Soon Can a Doctor Detect Pregnancy by Pelvic Examination
Unfortunately, there is no exact answer. The first indications of pregnancy can usually be seen during a pelvic examination approximately six weeks after the last period. However, there may be other causes for these symptoms. Therefore, lab tests almost always confirm pregnancies.
A pelvic examination does not require any preparation. The patient only needs to attend their appointment. Most of the time, the doctor or nurse will inquire if the patient needs to use the toilet to be examined without interruption and feel more comfortable.
If the patient experiences symptoms of burning or frequent urination, the doctor may request a urine sample. The examination is not painful, although it may cause discomfort. Typically, it takes approximately ten minutes.
Why have a pelvic examination?
There are numerous reasons for carrying out these examinations, including:
Doctors often carry out pelvic examinations as part of an annual health check to ensure the well-being of the reproductive organs, and to detect sexually transmitted infections, yeast infections, and bacterial vaginosis. Pelvic exams may also be conducted during pregnancy to look for signs of infection and determine the cause of pelvic or lower back pain.
A Pap smear and breast examination are two other preventive screenings that are frequently carried out on the same day as a pelvic exam. A breast exam is performed to identify any signs of cancer or abnormalities that may be present in the breast tissue. Pap smears can also be used to detect symptoms of cancer or precancerous changes in the cervix.
How to prepare for a pelvic examination and How is performed?
There is no special preparation necessary for a pelvic examination. Prior to the examination, the doctor or nurse may request that the patient empty their bladder. If the patient is discharged while awaiting the pelvic examination, the test can be rescheduled.
The patient may be required to remove clothing from below the waist before the pelvic exam. A gown or sheet is provided for coverage. The patient may need to relax their lower body muscles while lying on their back. Holders known as stirrups may be used to keep the patient’s feet wide open. The pelvic exam can be conducted in a variety of ways, including:
- An external examination is a visual inspection of the vulva and vagina carried out by a healthcare professional.
- In a manual examination, the healthcare provider may insert one or two fingers into the vagina while using the other hand to gently press on the area from the outside. This enables the doctor to feel for any abnormalities in the organs or tissues.
- Another technique used to examine the vagina involves the insertion of a speculum, which widens and separates the vaginal wall, providing a clearer view of the cervix and internal area.
- A rectal examination involves the insertion of a finger into the rectum to check for the presence of tumors or other abnormalities.
Pelvic Examination During Pregnancy
During pregnancy, doctors perform pelvic exams for the same reasons, such as looking for infections and abnormalities. Additionally, a pelvic exam can help a physician determine the size of the cervix and pelvis, which can be useful in assessing whether cervical weakness could lead to a miscarriage or preterm labor.
Typically, pelvic exams are carried out early in pregnancy. At around 36 weeks, if there are no complications, the cervix is examined once more to ensure that nothing has changed. After that, the doctor will check the patient as often as necessary to monitor labor. The risks associated with pelvic exams during pregnancy are not well understood, and there is a possibility that an examination might increase the likelihood of an infection spreading.
After the Pelvic Examination
The patient will be enquired if they have any questions or concerns about the doctor or nurse practitioner. It is crucial to be truthful about sexual health-related topics. Medical professionals are obligated to safeguard patients’ confidentiality.
The patient will be notified of their Pap smear results. After the examination or receiving the results, they may request further testing if necessary.
What is the difference between a pap smear and a pelvic exam?
In a Pap test or Pap smear, a healthcare provider uses a plastic spatula and brush to collect a sample of cervical cells and examine them for abnormal pre-cancerous or cancerous cells. Occasionally, a liquid sample is collected from the vagina to test for vaginal infection. Prior to the test, it is important not to insert anything into the vagina.
FAQS – Frequently Asked Question
What are the benefits of the procedure?
As previously stated, a woman’s pelvic organ-related issue can be identified during a pelvic exam. The problem can be treated more effectively if it is identified and treated early.
Can a doctor tell you, you are pregnant during a pelvic exam?
A screening test called a pap smear is used to find and prevent cervical cancer, the most common type of gynecologic cancer. On the other hand, measuring your human chorionic gonadotropic hormone is the only way to tell if you’re pregnant. Therefore, a pap smear cannot be used to detect pregnancy by your gynecologist.
How early can a doctor tell if you are pregnant?
About six to eight days after your ovulation, blood tests can determine whether you are pregnant. There are two kinds of blood tests that doctors use to look for pregnancy: The precise amount of hCG in your blood can be determined by a quantitative blood test.
What are the signs of pregnancy before missed period?
- Moodiness. The flood of hormones in your body in early pregnancy can make you unusually emotional and weepy.
- Light spotting.