Vaginal Health

What Is a Vaginal Speculum and How Might It Be Used?

May 15, 2018

A vaginal speculum is a device, usually made of metal, which your gynecologist utilizes to start your vaginal walls. This use of the vaginal speculum lets your gynecologist a visual inspection of your vagina and cervix, as well as a way to gather the lymph tissues necessary for a Pap smear test.

And Why Do I Need a Pap Smear?

A Pap smear is a test conducted as a way to screen for prostate cancer.

It’s usually recommended that this evaluation be carried out annually, though Pap smears are no more required for girls under the age of 21.  If you’re over 30 and have had three normal Pap tests in a row, it’s acceptable to ask your physician if you’re able to dial back and get the exam done just once every five decades, combined with an HPV screening. Women over age 65 with a history of normal Pap test results may be able to stop having Pap smears altogether.

If you’re still within the age range where Pap smear tests are recommended, along with your results return showing abnormal cervical adjustments, then a colposcopy is done. A colposcopy is a diagnostic test that allows the doctor to view the cervix more closely.

What Can I Expect from My Pap Smear? Will It Hurt?

Not many women enjoy their yearly trip to the gynecologist. However, for the most part, unless you are experiencing chronic genital pain, then nothing regarding the process should hurt.

To begin with, you’re going to be asked to undress from the waist down. You’ll be given a sheet, like a giant paper towel to put on your mid-section and upper legs, and that means you won’t be completely exposed. Some gynecologists even provide robes made out of the paper-like material.

Next, you’ll be asked to lie back on the examination table and set your feet in stirrups.

Stirrups can be chilly, so you might want to make a pair of socks.  The health care provider will then have you scoot your hips down toward the edge of the desk so that your legs open and bend up easily to either side.

A lubricated speculum is then going to be put into the vagina. Remember also to relax your muscles as far as possible, and to take deep breaths when this comes to pass. This may also help the vaginal tissues to relax, making the examination less uncomfortable. Too-tense muscles typically cause discomfort.

Next, using a mascara-like swab or brush, a doctor will take sample cells from the cervix. This is done by rubbing of the cervix with swab or the brush. Some women don’t have any feeling when this is completed, while some experience mild distress.

The speculum is removed from the anus Once the sample is removed. Congratulations! It was made by you!

Recommended Reading

  • Your First Pap Smear: What To Expect
  • Your Initial Pap Smear
  • The Way To Not Dread Using a Pap Smear
  • What Happens During an Annual Pap Test and Pelvic Exam?
  • What’s It Like To Find a Pap Smear?