Should pelvic exam be skipped?

July 7, 2014 6:49 AM

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Should pelvic exam be skipped?

New advice issued from the American College of Physicians urged doctors to stop performing routine pelvic exams in healthy women who aren’t pregnant and have no symptoms to warrant the exam. The guideline published last Monday in the Annals of Internal Medicine was based on a review of 52 studies that found no evidence that pelvic exams helped detect serious health problems like ovarian cancer, uterine cancer, or vaginal infections early enough to save a woman’s life or preserve fertility.

Whether obstetricians and gynecologists change their practice based on this recommendation remains to be seen: Their own medical group, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, responded to the new guideline by saying that it stands by its own guideline issued last year, which recomm...

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