Study: Do Healthy Women Need an Annual Pelvic Exam?

Fred Bodimer

ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – A common part of every woman’s yearly check-up might be doing more harm than good.

The American College of Physicians found there’s no need for women to get an annual pelvic exam if they’re not pregnant or showing symptoms of a medical problem.

“Based on their findings, they felt that in asymptomatic, low-risk women, that a pelvic may not be indicated yearly,” says SLU Care gynecologist Dr. Greg Ward.

An analysis shows that manual physical exams rarely detect disease and can raise false alarms, leading to unnecessary tests or surgeries.

Ward advises women to still see a gynecologist annually. He says the study’s findings just mean you may not necessarily have to have the internal examination each year.

This is different from PAP smears, which are still recommended for cancer detection.

(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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