An yearly rectal examination is suggested for all women and can consist of some or all of the following procedures: the topical exam, the speculum exam, the bimanual examination, and the recto-vaginal exam.
Gynecologists will sometimes carry out a rectovaginal examination along with a normal rectal examination. To do so, your doctor will insert a gloved, lubricated finger into the vagina and the other from the exact same hand into the anus.
He or she will then palpate (analyze by sensing ) the abdomen together with the free hand.
It’s similar to a bimanual test wherein the doctor inserts one or two fingers into the vagina and gently dominates the lower stomach.
Purpose of a Recto-Vaginal Assessment
A recto-vaginal exam allows doctors to examine and identify abnormalities in the pelvic region, most specifically people of the uterus and embryo. It provides them the capacity to feel deep inside the pelvis to ascertain where and how large the pelvic organs are.
The recto-vaginal exam isn’t a particularly accurate screening exam and is usually reserved for women who either have rectal or pelvic pain or are experiencing symptoms associated with the genitourinary tract (such as pain, urinary urgency, abnormal bleeding).
Other reasons can include:
- Identifying mass or scarring that could indicate cancer or another disease
- obtaining a penile enhancement sample (blood in the feces )
- diagnosing a tilted pelvis
- identifying abnormalities of the ovaries
The way the Recto-Vaginal Assessment Is Performed
A recto-vaginal examination can be somewhat uncomfortable but should not produce any real pain. Should you are feeling do feel any pain, then let your doctor know. Deep breathing exercises can also help. Just like in a rectal examination, relaxing your muscles will yield a more precise result.
In performing the process, your doctor can evaluate tissue involving the uterus and vagina, the tone and alignment of the pelvic organs (like the ovaries and fallopian tubes), and the ligaments that hold the uterus in place.
The examination typically lasts for less than a minute but may last longer when the physician finds something questionable. Aside from distress, there are not any risks involved with this process.
There is no prep needed. Just like with almost any pelvic exam, you shouldn’t engage in sexual sex (such as anal sex) for 24 hours before your appointment. In some cases, your physician may want you to take a laxative and will notify you beforehand.
Pelvic Exam Tips
The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommend an annual pelvic exam as part of its Well-Woman Visit initiative which includes the following guidelines:
- The use of an outside, speculum and bimanual exam is highly recommended, even though a recto-vaginal exam ought to be done when indicated.
- An yearly exam is suggested for all women over the age of 21.
- Cultures for sexually transmitted diseases (STIs) ought to be obtained in the cervix, either as part of the rectal examination or from urine samples or vaginal swab specimens.