How to Examine a Woman’s Genitals (the Pelvic Exam) 537
How to feel the reproductive parts inside the abdomen
1. Put the pointing finger of your gloved hand in the woman’s
vagina. As you put your finger in, push gently downward
on the muscle surrounding the vagina. When the woman’s
body relaxes, put the middle finger in too. Turn the palm
of your hand up.
2. Feel the opening of her womb (cervix) to see if it is firm
and round. Then put one finger on either side of the
cervix and move the cervix gently. It should move easily,
without causing pain. If it does cause pain, she may have
an infection of the womb, tubes, or ovaries. If her cervix
feels soft, she may be pregnant.
3. Feel the womb by gently pushing
on her lower abdomen with your
side to side.
outside hand. This moves the
inside parts (womb, tubes, and
ovaries) closer to your inside hand. The womb may be
tipped forward or backward. If you do not feel it in front
of the cervix, gently lift the cervix and feel around it for
the body of the womb. If you feel it under the cervix, it
is pointed to the back.
4. When you find the womb, feel for its size and shape. Do
this by moving your inside fingers to the sides of the cervix,
and then ‘walk’ your outside fingers around the womb. It
should feel firm, smooth, and smaller than a lemon.
If the womb:
• feels soft and large, she is
• feels lumpy and hard,
she may have a fibroid or
other growth (see
• hurts when you touch
it, she probably has an
• does not move freely,
she could have scars from
an old infection (pelvic
– PID, see page 274).
Size of the womb during pregnancy
Where Women Have No Doctor 2012