Doctors Debate if Yearly Pelvic Exams are Necessary


Some doctors are beginning to question the need for every woman to have the exam every year. One of them is Dr. Carolyn L. Westhoff, a professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Columbia University. Last month, she and several colleagues wrote in the Journal of Women's Health that the routine pelvic exam is "obsolete" for women who have no symptoms that might suggest a problem. They argued that the time could be better spent on other, more pressing, health matters.

American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists

A recent report released by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends that women 21 through 29 have a pap smear every two years, women ages 30 through 65 a pap smear every three years is sufficient. Therefore, eliminating the need for a yearly pelvic exam or visit. According to Dr. Carolyn L. Westhoff.

Dr. Lisa Nicholas Doesn’t Agree

Dr. Lisa Nicholas, an assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine. Dr. Nichol’s feels a yearly pelvic exam is still important for a woman of any age the exam allows the ovaries to be checked for problems such as ovarian cancer, the time allows the patient and doctor to discuss concerns and questions.


The guidelines are reviewed continuously by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and as of present, a yearly exam is still recommended.



Sponsored Links

Related Articles

  • article thumbnail
    Safe Sex With HPV
    Practicing safe sex with hpv is very difficult even the use of a condom is not guaranteed to prevent the infected partner from passing it on to the other partner. Safe Sex…
  • article thumbnail
    Oral Contraceptives and Breast Cancer
    Oral contraceptives and breast cancer have been a major concern for women for over fifty years. Scientists and researchers have been working diligently to provide answers abou…
  • article thumbnail
    Chlamydia and Pregnancy
    The infection Chlamydia is caused by the bacterium Chlamydia trachomatis and it is transmitted by way of vaginal, oral, or anal sexual contact with another person who is alrea…

Support Groups

For individuals, friends and families who are need to connect during life's challenging times. Share personal experiences, evaluate information and get support in a confidential, caring environment.



The information provided on is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between a patient/site visitor and his/her health professional. This information is solely for informational purposes and does not constitute the practice of medicine. We encourage all visitors to see a licensed physician or nutritionist if they have any concerns regarding health issues related to diet, personal image and any other topics discussed on this site. Neither the owners or employees of nor the author(s) of site content take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading this site. Always speak with your primary health care provider before engaging in any form of self treatment. Please see our Legal Statement for further information.