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Definition of Pelvic exam

Pelvic exam: An examination of the organs of the female reproductive system.

In a pelvic exam, a speculum (an instrument for opening and widening certain passages of the body) is used to open the vagina and aid in visualizing the uterine cervix. A sample of cells may be taken off the surface of the cervix for a Pap smear or a sample may be obtained for laboratory culture. The uterus womb and ovaries are felt with the fingers to detect swellings or other abnormalities.

Source: MedTerms™ Medical Dictionary
http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=10977
Last Editorial Review: 8/28/2013

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