A vaginal speculum is a metal or plastic device used during a pelvic exam. It is inserted into the vagina to open up and hold apart the sides, which allows the examiner to see the opening to the uterus (cervix).
A speculum is often used to collect samples of cervical cells for a Pap test (a screening test for cervical cancer). The health professional may also use a speculum to collect tissue samples from and examine the inside of the vagina.
Last Revised: May 18, 2011
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review: Sarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine & Femi Olatunbosun, MB, FRCSC - Obstetrics and Gynecology
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