The dorsal lithotomy position is generally used for pelvic exams, because it provides for good access to pelvis while inspecting the vulva, inserting a vaginal speculum, and performing a bimanual exam. Because of illness or injury, some individuals cannot be examined in the conventional dorsal lithotomy position. Others may need to be examined in alternative positions due to special circumstances or location. Some patients are unable to lie flat on their back. With the patient lying on her side, raising the upper leg allows for good pelvic access.
The pelvic exam is a vital part of every woman's preventative care and is also important towards making a number of diagnoses when presenting with abdominal or pelvic complaints. Here we cover each aspect of the pelvic exam and demonstrate both in text and in our video how this done. The main equipment you will use is the speculum so it's important for you to understand the most commonly used types. These include the:. Example of a Grave's or Duckbill speculum which is a little wider, often used for prodecures. Image credit. Pederson most common vs the Grave's or Duckbill speculum.
A pelvic exam is where a doctor or nurse practitioner looks at a girl's reproductive organs both outside and internally. This includes feeling a girl's uterus and ovaries to be sure everything's normal. Teens don't usually get pelvic exams. Sometimes doctors do pelvic exams if they think there's a problem.