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Fii sanatoasa The pelvic exam is an annual rite of dread for women ages 21 and over.

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But should it be? Recently, the American College of Physicians, a national organization, recommended that asymptomatic, non-pregnant women reduce the frequency of their pelvic exams from once a year to … never.

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Their new guidelines, published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, are based on a review of all pelvic-exam studies conducted over the last 70 years. They found that even when doctors detected abnormalities—like ovarian cysts—they were almost always benign and would have gone away on their own.

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They also found that the potential downsides of yearly exams may outweigh the benefits. One of those downsides?

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False positives. For instance, cervical cancer news doctor might detect an ovarian cyst, and that could lead to its removal—which is painful and distressing and carries the risks of any surgery, such as infection—only to find it was harmless.

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This is a surprisingly common occurrence, argues the ACP, noting that 97 percent of abnormal pelvic examinations in asymptomatic women did not turn up serious issues, like ovarian cancer. But not everyone agrees with the new recommendation.

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The American Cervical cancer news of Obstetricians and Gynecologists ardently opposes the proposed change. During a routine pelvic exam, your doctor uterine cancer markers on the lookout for several things: She feels the uterus and ovaries for abnormalities, visually screens for infections and can perform a Pap smear to test for cervical cancer. Levy says.

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Gynecologists can also initiate conversations about problems that a patient may be too embarrassed to raise, like pain during sex or incontinence, which is common after childbirth. The doctor can then discuss medical options.

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Until this debate has been resolved, play it safe and keep that annual appointment.