Distress and pain during pelvic examinations: effect of sexual violence.
ABSTRACT To estimate the range and severity of distress and pain during pelvic examinations among female veterans with and without histories of sexual violence, and to examine whether posttraumatic stress disorder explains additional variance in examination-related distress and pain above that accounted for by exposure to sexual violence.
We employed a cross-sectional cohort design in which 67 selected female veterans completed self-administered questionnaires to assess history of sexual violence and experiences of distress and pain associated with the pelvic examination. A subsample of 49 completed an assessment for posttraumatic stress disorder approximately 2 weeks later.
Distress associated with the pelvic examination was highest for women with prior sexual violence and posttraumatic stress disorder (median 5.49), next highest for women with sexual violence only (median 2.44), and lowest for women with neither (median 0), P=.015. Higher ratings of pain were also found among women with sexual violence (median 2.5) compared with those without (median 0), P=.04. However, posttraumatic stress disorder was not linked with increased pain from speculum insertion beyond that accounted for by sexual violence; limited power may have precluded detection of this effect.
Distress and pain during pelvic examinations may indicate a history of previous sexual violence, particularly in those with posttraumatic stress disorder. Extra sensitivity to the special needs of this population is warranted and may contribute positively to the quality of patients' experiences.
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ABSTRACT: Vaginal examination (VE) and assessment of the cervix is currently considered to be the gold standard for assessment of labour progress. It is however inherently imprecise with studies indicating an overall accuracy for determining the diameter of the cervix at between 48-56%. Furthermore, VEs can be unpleasant, intrusive and embarrassing for women, and are associated with the risk of introducing infection. In light of increasing concern world wide about the use of routine interventions in labour it may be time to consider alternative, less intrusive means of assessing progress in labour. The presence of a purple line during labour, seen to rise from the anal margin and extend between the buttocks as labour progresses has been reported. The study described in this paper aimed to assess in what percentage of women in labour a purple line was present, clear and measurable and to determine if any relationship existed between the length of the purple line and cervical dilatation and/or station of the fetal head. This longitudinal study observed 144 women either in spontaneous labour (n = 112) or for induction of labour (n = 32) from admission through to final VE. Women were examined in the lateral position and midwives recorded the presence or absence of the line throughout labour immediately before each VE. Where present, the length of the line was measured using a disposable tape measure. Within subjects correlation, chi-squared test for independence, and independent samples t-test were used to analyse the data. The purple line was seen at some point in labour for 109 women (76%). There was a medium positive correlation between length of the purple line and cervical dilatation (r = +0.36, n = 66, P = 0.0001) and station of the fetal head (r = +0.42, n = 56, P < 0.0001). The purple line does exist and there is a medium positive correlation between its length and both cervical dilatation and station of the fetal head. Where the line is present, it may provide a useful guide for clinicians of labour progress along side other measures. Further research is required to assess whether measurement of the line is acceptable to women in labour and also clinicians.BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth 01/2010; 10:54. · 2.52 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: To determine the acceptability of transvaginal ultrasonography (TVU) and associated factors among Nigerian women. A cross-sectional survey was conducted among 3137 women who presented for transabdominal ultrasound scan between August and November 2010 in two referral hospitals in Nigeria. Data were obtained using a questionnaire. Descriptive and multivariate analysis was performed applying logistic regression analysis; predictors of willingness of participants regarding transvaginal ultrasound were identified using SPSS Statistics (SPSS Inc, Chicago, IL) version 17 software. The mean age of the women was 33.8 years (standard deviation = 7.9), with 88.8% currently married. About 84% were willing to have TVU, while 54.2% were indifferent about the gender of the sonologist. About 17.3% believed that the procedure is painful. Significant predictors of willingness to have TVU were previous sexual experience and douching, prior painful vaginal examination, and vaginal surgery. The majority of Nigerian women expressed a willingness to have the TVU procedure without necessarily opting for any gender preference of the operator. Women should be adequately counseled on the operations of the procedure so as to be able to psychologically prepare for them.International Journal of Women's Health 01/2012; 4:1-6.
Article: The challenging pelvic examination.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: While there is a large body of evidence on the effectiveness of Pap smears for cervical cancer screening and on screening for cervical gonorrhea and Chlamydia, there is sparse evidence to support other portions of the pelvic examination and little guidance on examination logistics. Maximizing comfort should be the goal; lubrication use and careful speculum selection and insertion can ease this intrusive procedure. This is particularly important in adolescent and menopausal women, sexual minorities, obese women, women with disabilities, and women with a history of trauma or prior instrumentation affecting the genitalia. We review the evidence and provide guidance to minimize physical and psychological discomfort with pelvic examination.Journal of General Internal Medicine 01/2011; 26(6):651-7. · 3.28 Impact Factor