Teen Girls Don’t Need Routine Pelvic Exams.
An estimated 1.4 million adolescent girls and young women in the U.S. might have received an unnecessary pelvic exam. And an estimated 1.6 million might have received an unnecessary Pap test. The Journal JAMA Internal Medicine published the article. It states that the overuse of these procedures can cause false-positives and anxiety.
There is a worrying trend in the UK for pelvic examinations for those between the ages of 15 and 20. There are concerns that the Pap test or bimanual pelvic exam had been in accordance with current clinical guidelines.
Bimanual pelvic exams and Pap tests used to be standard parts of annual gynecological checkups. Leading professional associations no longer recommend them for most younger patients.
Dr Gunter, an obstetrician and gynaecologist, and author of The Vagina Bible, says she had never heard of a ‘premarital exam’. And, she said, ‘some of the medical advice it seemed to offer was concerning’. Dr Gunter described the suggestion that woman schedule a premarital exam “to confirm that her body is ready for sex” and explore using a vaginal dilator is simply unnecessary.
Young women, to a certain extent, are fearful of coming to doctors. They think they’re going to get a pelvic exam. If they avoid or delay appointments that can have an adverse effect on their overall health.
What should not happen
The GP Manish Shah used Angelina Jolie and Jade Goody as examples to scare female patients into having unnecessary breast and vaginal examinations. He carried out 90 sex assaults against 24 women at Mawney Medical Centre in Romford, east London, between 2004 and 2013. He was handed three life sentences in February 2020.
The court heard how Shah picked on their vulnerability, because of their age or family history of cancer. Jurors heard he would not always wear gloves and left one patient entirely naked on an examination table. This level of systematic abuse is dreadful particulary as it went on for so long.
Young women should still make wellness appointments with their health care provider to discuss things like pregnancy intentions, sexually transmitted infection and its prevention, vaccinations, and intimate partner violence.
A pelvic exam for the age group should only be recommended if a patient has persistent symptoms, like abnormal bleeding patterns. Clinicians and patients should have conversations and arrive at treatment decisions jointly.