4 Common Tools Used By Gynecologists
Gynecology is the field of medicine that specializes in the reproductive health and organs of females. As part of their practice, they are responsible for testing female organs, treating them for diseases, and caring for women’s prenatal, natal and post-natal needs. Because gynecologists specialize in the female reproductive system, they rely on specialized gynecological equipment that is designed specifically for related procedures.
Patients who have had a pelvic exam have likely seen a speculum. A speculum is either plastic or metal, it is inserted into the vagina and allows the gynecologist to examine the area and retrieve a sample from the cervix if needed. To lessen the amount of discomfort patients experience from the speculum, many physicians will lubricate it with a gel or warm it up if it is metal.
A laminaria stick is commonly used in the obstetrician field. And because most gynecologists are also obstetricians, this instrument is commonly used by both. A laminaria stick is a thin rod of laminaria, which is a species of brown algae and is used to induce labor after being inserted into the cervix. It can also be used for surgical procedures. Once the laminaria stick is inserted into the cervix, it works to slowly absorb water and expand over a period of several hours, dilating the cervix and inducing labor.
As the name implies, a colposcope is used for colposcopy procedures. Colposcopes are magnifying binoculars that light up, providing doctors with an enlarged view of the cervix, vagina, and vulva. These help doctors identify cancerous cells located in the patient’s cervix, along with any other abnormalities. These procedures generally only last 10 to 15 minutes and are usually painless for most patients.
There are many types of forceps used in medicine. Sponge forceps is the most common and most preferred by gynecologists because they prevent surgical trauma and damage. Sponge forceps are shaped like scissors and can either be straight or curved. The most common uses for forceps are female sterilization procedures, inguinal hernia repairs, and removal of polyps. Sponge forceps are also required during the insertion of intrauterine devices.
Gynecologists are well trained to use gynecological equipment like the ones mentioned above. While they may not sound comfortable, your physician should do their best to alleviate discomfort and make the procedure as quick and comfortable as possible.