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Is it harmful to get a Pelvic Exam before 21 or being sexually active?

By March 29, 2010 - 11:29pm
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I have terribly debilitating cramps almost every month. I am interested in entering a study about menstrual cramps, but they have to do a pelvic exam. I don't know if I should not enter the study just because of that. Any input would really help. Thanks.

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Hi NIcollette-

I think a study is a great idea! There is no danger in having a pelvic exam, in fact, it is an important thing to have even if you are symptom free. You can be checked out to see if there is a physical issue that is causing your severe cramping. They can check to be sure your organs are normal and in good shape, and this will be a good baseline exam so if you have changes or problems in the future, your health care provider will be able to look back and say, "Well, when you were 21 it was like this, now you are 25 and it is this, so we know things have changed (or not changed)." That sort of thing can be very important.

It is good to be checked out before you've had sex for the same reasons. Also if you have an anatomical issue that might have an effect on your sex life, it will be good to find out before you have sex. Pelvic exams are the primary way we prevent cervical cancer, so I cannot stress enough how important they are. People get cancer when they are in their twenties sometimes, so it isn't too early to be checked.

You may find being part of a study interesting, and fulfilling. You will be helping other women who have issues with severe cramping, so you will be doing a service to your fellow women. That is awesome.

Do not be afraid of the exam. It is an important part of your preventative health care. I hope you will keep us posted on what your experience in the study is like.

Good luck!

March 31, 2010 - 6:46am
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