Importance: Many conditions that can affect women's health are often evaluated through pelvic examination. Although the pelvic examination is a common part of the physical examination, it is unclear whether performing screening pelvic examinations in asymptomatic women has a significant effect on disease morbidity and mortality.
Objective: To issue a new US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommendation on screening for gynecologic conditions with pelvic examination for conditions other than cervical cancer, gonorrhea, and chlamydia, for which the USPSTF has already made specific recommendations.
Evidence review: The USPSTF reviewed the evidence on the accuracy, benefits, and potential harms of performing screening pelvic examinations in asymptomatic, nonpregnant adult women 18 years and older who are not at increased risk for any specific gynecologic condition.
Findings: Overall, the USPSTF found inadequate evidence on screening pelvic examinations for the early detection and treatment of a range of gynecologic conditions in asymptomatic, nonpregnant adult women.
Conclusions and recommendation: The USPSTF concludes that the current evidence is insufficient to assess the balance of benefits and harms of performing screening pelvic examinations in asymptomatic, nonpregnant adult women. (I statement) This statement does not apply to specific disorders for which the USPSTF already recommends screening (ie, screening for cervical cancer with a Papanicolaou smear, screening for gonorrhea and chlamydia).