Study: Yearly pelvic exam may not be necessary - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Study: Yearly pelvic exam may not be necessary

According to the American College of Physicians for most healthy women a pelvic exam may not be necessary. (Source: KLTV Staff) According to the American College of Physicians for most healthy women a pelvic exam may not be necessary. (Source: KLTV Staff)
According to the study the exams don’t benefit women who aren’t pregnant and have no symptoms of disease.  (Source: KLTV Staff) According to the study the exams don’t benefit women who aren’t pregnant and have no symptoms of disease. (Source: KLTV Staff)
TYLER, TX (KLTV) -

A yearly ritual may be coming to an end for some women. According to the American College of Physicians, for most healthy women a pelvic exam may not be necessary.

“The recommendation says only come if you are symptomatic or have a problem,” said Dr. Charla Spencer, who works for Trinity Clinic Obstetrics and Gynecology.

According to the study, the exams don’t benefit women who aren’t pregnant and have no symptoms of disease. Dr. Spencer says that the point of the exam is to catch something before it becomes dangerous.

“To look for bumps, lesions, cancers; there’s all sorts of things we can find in the early stages that will really impact your health positively in the future,” Spencer said.

So the question is, once a year or once every few years?  Dr. Spencer says to consult with your doctor before making that decision.

“We seem to be practicing medicine by committee, and this is a committee opinion rather than an individual decision,” Spencer said.

For patient Katherine Macias, the decision was simple.

“To be safer than sorry,” Macias said.

Macias has been a patient with Dr. Spencer for four years and says even after seeing the study, she’d rather stick with her yearly routine.

“You do want to find something before it gets out of hand,” Macias said.

The study also says list the harms of pelvic exams; things like anxiety, embarrassment and discomfort, for example. Spencer believes those are issues that can easily be resolved.

“If you’re really anxious about seeing your doctor who is doing your pelvic exam,  talk to them about it and if it's painful and uncomfortable, they probably aren’t doing it right,” said Spencer.

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists says they still recommend the exams once a year.

Copyright 2014 KLTV. All rights reserved.

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