A vaginal speculum is a device, usually made of metal, […]
A vaginal speculum is a device, usually made of metal, which your gynecologist utilizes to open your vaginal walls. This use of the vaginal speculum allows your gynecologist a visual inspection of your vagina and cervix, as well as a way to collect the cervical cells necessary for a Pap smear test.
There are few, if any, risks associated with using a vaginal speculum, as long as the speculum is sterile. The biggest risk is discomfort during the pelvic exam. Tensing your muscles can make the exam more uncomfortable.
To avoid getting tense, you can try breathing slowly and deeply, relaxing the muscles throughout your entire body — not just your pelvic area — and asking the doctor to describe what’s happening during the exam. You can also try any other relaxation technique that works for you.
While it may be uncomfortable, a speculum should never be painful. If you start to feel pain, tell your doctor. They may be able to switch to a smaller speculum.