Routine Pelvic Exams are Unnecessary
July 1, 2014 10:59 PM Subscribe
The American College of Physicians admitted Monday that pelvic exams are not a useful screening tool for healthy women, and can even be harmful. Although these exams are often still required for hormonal contraception, there is no medical reason to do so, and pelvics are often a significant barrier to birth control access. They are not an effective way to diagnose ovarian cancer either, and urinalysis is a better way to detect STIs. The American College of Obstetricans and Gynecologists disagreed, but acknowledged that the case for pelvic exams "lacks data." Pelvic exams are so anxiety-inducing, uncomfortable, or painful that they can even cause some people to avoid medical care altogether, yet both clinicians and patients are so resistant to change that it's likely millions of women will continue to be screened despite the lack of evidence of benefit.
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