Consider The Evidence: Med/Peds Journal Roundup

July 23, 2006

Skip the Stirrups for More Comfortable Pelvic Exams?

Filed under: Uncategorized — medblog @ 9:02 pm

BMJ – In this week’s BMJ, Seehusen et al. present research into making gynecological examinations a little more bearable. The investigators randomized 200 women into recieving pelvic exams in the standard lithotomy position in raised stirrups or with feet placed on the edges of the table. The subjects then rated their feelings of physical discomfort, vunerability, and loss of control using a visual analog scale.

Subjects in the alternative position reported significantly lower levels of physical discomfort and vunerability. The quality of the smears was not significantly affected by the change in position – although there was no information regarding the ease of exam from the examiner’s point of view.

The article suggests that decreasing the discomfort of vaginal exams may increase patient adherence to regular cervical cancer screening.

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