Letters To The Editor

Pelvic examination is essential to clinical care


 

“THE PELVIC EXAM REVISITED”
ERIN HIGGINS, MD, AND
CHERYL B. IGLESIA, MD (AUGUST 2017)


Pelvic examination is essential to clinical care

I have contemplated the issue of the routine screening pelvic exam now for several years. But for the last year, I have found various problems in many “asymptomatic women.” For example: The 18-year-old who was “not sexually active” but who had Chlamydia. Or the 84-year-old who denied itching or other vulvovaginal symptoms who had either vulvar cancer or lichen sclerosis so severe her vagina was almost closed; a 30-minute review of her outside records revealed recurrent urinary tract infections requiring more than 5 courses of antibiotics in 6 months for what was actually contaminants from a urine specimen that passed through the vagina first. I think the move away from actually touching patients has completely gotten out of hand! It is appalling how many women I have seen who visited an emergency department for pelvic or abdominal pain and never had a hands-on examination. If we do not examine the part of the body that many completely ignore we may as well lose our specialty!

Christine Kneer-Aronoff, MD
Cincinnati, Ohio

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