Our Health Library information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Please be advised that this information is made available to assist our patients to learn more about their health. Our providers may not see and/or treat all topics found herein.

Speculum exam and bimanual exam

A speculum exam and a bimanual exam are often done together. These exams are used to check a woman's reproductive organs.

For these tests, the woman lies on her back on an exam table with her knees bent and her feet and legs supported by footrests.

For the speculum exam, the doctor places a tool called a speculum into the woman's vagina. The speculum helps to open the vagina a little bit, allowing the doctor to see the cervix and the walls of the vagina. Samples may also be collected for testing.

A bimanual exam is done to check a woman's pelvic organs (such as the uterus and ovaries). The doctor places two gloved, lubricated fingers into the woman's vagina while pressing on her abdomen with the other hand (bimanual means with two hands). This allows the doctor to check the size and shape of the woman's pelvic organs.