What is a rectal exam?
A rectal exam can be performed by a doctor or OB/GYN to check the lower rectum, pelvis, and lower belly for cancer and other health problems. The staff at Premier Women’s Health Associates do rectal exams along with vaginal examinations to check for uterine or ovarian cancer. If you suffer from rectal bleeding or changes in stream, this examination can also be helpful for diagnosing certain health conditions.
What can I expect during the procedure?
Before the exam, you will change into a gown and lie on your back on the exam table. You will put your feet up in raised stirrups. Your doctor will then insert a lubricated, gloved finger into your rectum in order to feel the reproductive organs and the bowel. By applying pressure on the lower abdomen or pelvic area with the other hand, your doctor may also feel for abnormalities in the internal organs. Generally, rectal exams are not painful but they can be a little uncomfortable when external pressure is applied. The entire exam only takes a few minutes, and afterward you may experience a small amount of bleeding from the rectum. This is especially true if you have anal fissures or hemorrhoids.
When can I expect the results?
The results of a rectal exam are given immediately. If everything is normal, no enlargements or growths will be felt. Abnormal results are indicated by the presence of tumors in the cervix, uterus, or ovaries. Growths such as polyps, tumors, hemorrhoids, or abscesses may be found in the lower rectum. Your doctor can also detect breaks in the skin around the anus (anal fissures) and problems with your bladder.
Request an appointment in the San Fernando Valley
If you live in the San Fernando Valley or the surrounding area, you can schedule a rectal exam at Premier Women’s Health Associates. From our office in West Hills, California, we provide comprehensive services for gynecologic care and wellness. If you are experiencing health problems or you’d just like to come in for a check-up, give us a call at (818) 346-5000 or request an appointment online.