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What happens during a routine gynecological visit?
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When should gynecologists perform pelvic exams?
Ten premenarchal girls were interviewed about their experiences receiving an external genital examination as part of a larger longitudinal study. Qualitative methods were used for analysis, looking for concepts based on themes and shared beliefs among the girls to create a model of the genital examination experience. Most participants could not remember ever having a genital examination before enrollment in the larger study.
The recent cases of Dr. Lawrence G. Nassar, the physician for the U. George Tyndall, the gynecologist at the University of Southern California student health center , involve allegations that they inappropriately touched young female patients, often while doing a pelvic exam. Gynecological visits cover a wide range of topics, especially because many women do not regularly see any other physicians. Iffath Hoskins, a clinical professor and director of safety and quality in obstetrics and gynecology at New York University. So questions may go well beyond the gynecological. Hoskins asks about domestic violence, social habits, drinking and smoking. Doctors will ask about any genital pain or problems and, depending on circumstances, about menstruation, sexual activity or birth control. Women under 21 do not need invasive vaginal exams unless they have specific conditions or medical risks.