As per a study, pelvic exams are not very helpful in diagnosing sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) in adolescent girls. The rates of sexually transmitted disease in adolescent girls are reaching new heights in these times as stated by Cena Tejani, lead study author.
As compared to other methods of diagnosing STDs, pelvic exams have poor reliability and do not provide enough information. There is a need for review of STD diagnosis protocol in order to improve the health and well-being of adolescent girls all over the country.
In this study, out of 288 patients who underwent observational analysis, the results of pelvic exam did not change the physician’s decision to treat 217 of the patients with antibiotics. It was observed that 79 patients had chlamydia, trichomonas vaginal infections, bacterial vaginosis or gonorrhea as shown by positive urinalyses.
However, in 71 instances, the pelvic exam information did help in influencing the management of the case. Out of thee 71, 35 of the cases correlated with the STD tests while 36 did not. It was observed that the information conveyed by pelvic exam did not prove to be of any aid to the physicians in diagnosing whether the patient was STD positive or negative.
Through the study it was confirmed that pelvic exams have no role to play in increasing the chances of diagnosing STDs. Physicians might still choose to perform pelvic exams as it is not possible to get urine test results immediately. Dr. Tejani further added that pelvic exams of unaccompanied minors can be quite overwhelming because for them sexual health is quite a sensitive topic.
Therefore, as physicians, it is extremely important to have enough knowledge about the limitation of pelvic exam data and the effect these invasive procedures can have on certain patients. Rapid urine STD testing can be an alternative test to diagnose STDs which is a more accurate and far less invasive way. These tests should be purchased by hospitals in order to take better care of their young women patients struggling with STDs.