Gynaecological exam can sometimes be only in a form of conversation about the family history of medical conditions, dilemmas or questions that you have regarding reproductive health, pregnancy or labour. 

This is how an annual gynaecological exam should look like: 

When you lay on your back on the gynaecology bed, the gynaecologist will exam the outer part of your vagina – labia minor, labia major, clitoris – to see if there is any redness, irritation, secret, cysts or some other change. Then they will take a speculum (a sterile metal instrument that has a shape of duck’s beak and can also open as one) and insert it gently into your vagina. This procedure is not painful. It can sometimes be just a little bit uncomfortable. Speculum is used to move the vagina away from each other so that the doctor can see the inside part of your vagina and your cervix and also to take different samples for testing. 

At this time, it is usually only samples that your gynaecologist will take with a cotton swab and they are later sent for laboratory testing. After that, the doctor will do a manual exam which means that they will insert their index and middle finger into your vagina while pressing your lower belly from the outside. This way the doctor will feel your uterus and ovaries with their fingers and at the same time they will check if you feel any pain from this pressure. The whole exam should not take more than 15 minutes.

You do not need any preparation for gynaecological exam. It is recommended that you visit your gynaecologist once a year, but you should also visit any time if you notice any unusual bleeding from your uterus or unusual pain in your lower belly, vulva, vagina or ovaries.