University Health Service

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Who should have a routine women's health exam?

All women age 21 or older should have an annual routine women's health exam, which may include a pelvic exam and a Pap test. Transgender individuals with breasts, ovaries and/or uterus should also have an annual gynecological exam. 

Process at UHS:

After you complete a medical history sheet, a medical assistant will escort you to an exam room to take your blood pressure, height, weight and pulse and review your history form. You will be left alone to remove your clothes and put on a gown.

A clinician will arrive. Discuss any concerns or any specific requests with your clinician before the exam. Some tests can be easily completed during the exam.

The clinician will begin a general physical exam, which includes listening to your lungs and heart, feeling your thyroid gland and abdominal organs. Based on your age and medical history, the clinician will determine whether you need a pelvic exam, breast exam and/or screening for sexually transmitted infections.

During the pelvic exam, the clinician will examine your external genitalia and insert a speculum into your vagina in order to examine your vaginal walls and cervix. The speculum may be a bit uncomfortable but shouldn't hurt. Relaxing your pelvic muscles can help. At this time, any necessary tests will be taken (for example, Pap test).

During a Pap test, cells are collected from the cervix and sent to a laboratory for evaluation. Results will show if the cells are affected by the human papilloma virus (HPV), including whether there are any precancerous or cancerous changes. See Pap Tests and HPV for more information.

Next, the speculum is removed and a bimanual exam is performed. The clinician inserts one or two fingers into the vagina and/or rectum to evaluate the uterus, fallopian tubes, ovaries and other internal structures.

How to schedule an appointment:

Call UHS at 734-764-8320 or see How to Get Health Care. Tell the scheduler you are interested in a routine women's health exam. To allow enough time, inform the scheduler:

  • If you have any health problems or conditions that you would like to be addressed
  • If you are interested in testing for sexually transmitted infections
  • If you are interested in a method of birth control and which type, if known
  • If you need any forms completed and how many pages

Before your appointment:

If you've had a previous abnormal Pap test with an outside provider, it is helpful to:

  • Bring records to your appointment OR
  • Fax records to UHS at 734-936-3063

Do not douche or use vaginal medication for at least two days before the exam.

Do not have intercourse or use a tampon for one day before the exam.

Please schedule your exam for when you are not menstruating or when menstrual flow is very light.

If you cannot keep your appointment, please cancel at least 24 hours ahead. Failure to do so may result in a broken appointment fee. Call 734-763-3557 to cancel.

Plan to arrive 10 minutes before your appointment time in order to complete a medical history form that includes current medications with doses.

How to receive a prescription method of contraception:

See Contraception.

Test results:

Results will not be available immediately. Results are typically delivered via the patient portal account (you must have an account). Your clinician will contact you only if test results are abnormal. 

More information:

  • For questions about these instructions, call UHS at 734-764-8320.
  • Nurse Advice by Phone is available, day and night. This may save a trip to UHS, the ER or an urgent care facility.