A pelvic exam is a routine method of evaluating a woman’s reproductive organs and is an essential component of basic gynecologic care. It may be performed as part of a “well-woman exam” or to identify the cause of symptoms ranging from vaginal discharge to pelvic pain, unexplained bleeding or urinary issues. A pelvic exam may also include a Pap test as a regular preventive screening measure. The exam takes only a few minutes to perform, during which the physician uses a special instrument called a speculum to visualize the vagina and cervix. The physician also manually palpates the abdomen and pelvis from the inside and outside in order to check for growths and evaluate the condition of the uterus and ovaries. Primary care physicians as well as gynecologists can provide pelvic exams as part of a regular annual checkup.