Hospiten tells us about gynecological examinations
The reason for a gynecological exam is to perform cytology for early detection of cervical cancer. Cervical cytology (also known as the Papanicolaou test or PAP) involves taking a sample of cells from the uterine cervix, also called the neck of the uterus, and examining them under a microscope to detect early cervical cancer. The cervix is “rubbed” with a spatula and mini-brush to remove cells from the cervix and vaginal fornix for later examination under a microscope.
This test is essential because cervical cancer is the fourth most common cancer in women worldwide, after breast, colon and lung cancer. However, the advent of ultrasound has opened up a very broad field of study, allowing the internal genital organs of women (vagina, uterus, fallopian tubes and ovaries) to be seen, so gynecological screening is not limited to cytology alone.
In summary, the gynecological examination has 3 main objectives:
1.- To address any problems or concerns that the woman may have regarding her physiology and/or sexual life: menstrual cycle disorders, contraceptive advice, concerns about motherhood, changes in vaginal discharge, urinary leakage, etc.
2.- Physical and ultrasound examination: It is performed in the lithotomy position (lying down with open legs) because this is the only way to adequately visualize the female genitalia. Thanks to this position we can evaluate the vulva and through the speculum we can visualize part of the internal genitalia, that is the vagina and the cervix. In this regard, we evaluate any type of change in the skin of the vulva, as well as in the vaginal mucosa and cervix, while checking whether the vaginal secretion has a normal color and texture.
This will allow us to see if there is any type of lesion on the skin or mucosa (warts, ulcers, sores) or any vulvovaginal infection that may be causing irritation/inflammation of the area. Finally, we will perform a vaginal ultrasound to evaluate the internal genitalia. We may also perform a breast examination by inspection and palpation, especially if the patient has noticed a lump or lesion in the breast or simply to reduce her anxiety about breast self-examination.
3.- Vaginal cytology: the gynecological revision is not only cytology, but it is a very important part since the revision is used to perform comprehensive care of the woman. Therefore, we try not only to “review”, but our intention is to give answers and solutions (whenever possible) to all those doubts or problems about our female physiology, always based on the most recent scientific evidence.
Get a check-up before you have a problem, prevention is always better!