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There is discrepancy amongst organizations and the medical community whether bimanual pelvic examinations should be performed in asymptomatic women for routine screening. The purpose of this literature review was to determine whether bimanual pelvic examinations are beneficial for screening for ovarian cancer in comparison to no screening. In addition, research was conducted to see if healthcare providers’ professional beliefs align with the evidence and national recommendations, to determine women’s thoughts and beliefs regarding pelvic examinations, and identify other screening methods if bimanual pelvic exams are determined to be an invalid screening tool. Throughout reviewing peer reviewed articles and high quality evidence, it was found that bimanual pelvic exams have low sensitivity for screening, which is not ideal due to false positives; however, several researchers still feel this is an important screening tool. Also, many providers still consider the pelvic exam beneficial when performed annually on asymptomatic women as part of a well woman exam and continue to perform them routinely in the office. Research also shows that the majority of women do not feel uncomfortable or pain during a pelvic exam and the majority wish to continue having them performed on a regular basis. Combinations of different screening methods such as pelvic examination with serum CA 125 annually and serum CA 125 with transvaginal ultrasound annually were found to be effective in screening for ovarian cancer in asymptomatic women.


Physician Assistant Studies

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Bimanual pelvic examination, pelvic exam, ovarian cancer screening, CA 125, transvaginal ultrasounds, gynecological screening, adnexal mass, asymptomatic women


Medicine and Health Sciences

Pelvic Examinations for Ovarian Cancer Screening in Asymptomatic Adult Women