A Guide to Gynecological Exams: What Should — and Shouldn’t — Happen
By Pam Belluck and Jennifer Medina
The recent cases of Dr. Lawrence G. Nassar, the physician for the U.S. women’s gymnastics team, and Dr. George Tyndall, the gynecologist at the University of Southern California student health center, involve allegations that they inappropriately touched young female patients, often while doing a pelvic exam. Here’s what women should know about gynecological exams, including what to expect and what is out of bounds.
What happens during a routine gynecological visit?
Gynecological visits cover a wide range of topics, especially because many women do not regularly see any other physicians. “For most women, I am functioning as a primary care doctor,” said Dr. Iffath Hoskins, a clinical professor and director of safety and quality in obstetrics and gynecology at New York University. “A gynecology visit is much more than putting fingers in the vagina and doing a Pap smear. I want to make sure you’re O.K. overall before I make you take your clothes off.”