Gynaecology is one of the few areas of medicine where a very simple examination can detect precancerous cervical lesions and cervical cancer. This exam is called smear - PAP test. Until recently, women Slovenia were entitled to a free examination once a year, but now this has changed and they have a right to this test once every 3 years in the event that previously, two PAP tests were I-negative and the patients have no risk factors.
In addition to observing cervical changes, the gynaecological examination also allows the detection of changes in the vagina, especially various inflammations. It is helpful for detecting tumours in the uterus or ovaries and different anatomical changes (uterus and vaginal ptosis, endometriosis of the pelvis). All these changes can be detected by palpation of the reproductive organs. As this is not a very reliable method, a big advance in this field was achieved with the introduction of the vaginal ultrasound examination. The latter is mostly performed in vague or suspicious findings in examination by palpation, or if the patient experiences problems which cannot be explained by a regular exam.
Probably all women are familiar with gynaecological examination, except from maybe those who are coming to the exam for the first time. First, we examine the external genitalia and any changes to it. Then follows an inspection of the vagina and cervix with the mirrors. This also allows us to observe any abnormalities, especially a variety of inflammatory changes and changes in the cervix. With a wooden stick we take a smear sample - PAP-test, and if necessary, the cervix is also stained and examined under magnification - colposcopy. The mirror exam is followed by palpation of the uterus and ovaries with both hands, namely, with 2 fingers of the right hand in the vagina and the left hand played on patient's abdomen. Generally, gynaecological examination is painlessness. Any pain is usually a sign of pathological changes. Gynaecological examination can be complemented by a vaginal ultrasound examination.
The purpose of the gynaecological examination is to determine the potential precancerous changes.