Can Pelvic Exams Diagnose STDs in Girls?

According to a study, pelvic exams do not help in diagnosing sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) in adolescent girls.

Study author, Cena Tejani said;

“sexually transmitted disease rates for adolescent women are reaching their highest recorded rate.”

When compared with other methods of diagnosis that involves blood samples and urine samples, pelvic exams lack consistency and provide very little new information when compared with other methods of diagnosis.

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The study appeared in the journal Annals of Emergency Medicine. (ANI)

This is published unedited from the ANI feed.

“A closer examination of STD diagnosis protocol could benefit the health and well-being of adolescent women all over the country,” Tejani stated.

Out of 288 patients in an observational analysis, pelvic exam results did not change the clinician’s decision to treat a large majority (217 of the cases) with antibiotics.

According to a positive urinalysis, there were 79 patients with chlamydia, gonorrhea or trichomonas vaginal infections. The pelvic exam information did influence the case management in 71 cases, 35 of which linked with the STD tests while 36 did not. The pelvic exam information did not help the physicians better identify whether the patient was STD positive or negative.

The study confirmed that pelvic exams do not increase the sensitivity of diagnosis.

The study authors noted that practitioners may choose to perform pelvic exams, because urine test results are not immediately available.

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“As physicians, it is important to be aware of the limitations of pelvic exam data and the impact that these invasive procedures have on some patients.”

“Rapid urine STD testing provides a more accurate result which is also a less invasive way to diagnose these diseases. Hospitals should strongly consider purchasing these tests to better evaluate young women with STDs,” said Dr. Tejani.

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