Physicians Corner

Screening Pelvic Examinations: Current Recommendations 

The American College of Physicians (ACP) published recommendations for screening pelvic examinations in asymptomatic, average-risk adult women in the July 2014 issue of Annals of Internal Medicine.  The recommendations state there is no evidence-based data supporting the use of pelvic examination as part of a routine well-woman visit.  In fact, pelvic exams may possibly cause pain, discomfort, fear, anxiety, or embarrassment in about 30% of women.

In response, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) published a Practice Advisory on July1 after reviewing the ACP recommendations.  The Practice Advisory states that ACOG "continues to stand by its guidelines" detailed in their 2012 Committee Opinion on the Well-Woman Visit, which assert that the decision about whether to perform a pelvic exam during an annual well-woman visit be a shared decision between the health-care provider and the patient, based on the patient's needs and desires.

Different professional organization - US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF), American Medical Association, American College of Physicians, ACOG, American Academy of Family Physicians, American Academy of Pediatrics, and Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices - have used varying analytical methods to determine recommended health services by age group; consequently these organizations have somewhat divergent recommendations.  However, the recommendations of most organizations share many similarities.

Our providers stay current with the preventive care guidelines and will disucss questions you may have at your annual visit.

Call today to schedule your annual well-woman visit and get your questions answered. You can call 770-991-2200 or go online through your Patient Portal to schedule your appointment.

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