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Reviewed by the Faculty of Harvard Medical School

How To Relax During The Pelvic Exam

Having a pelvic exam may be a little uncomfortable, but it shouldn't be painful. However, some females get so anxious before and during the exam that all of their muscles tighten, including muscles in the abdomen, thighs, buttocks and vagina. This makes the exam more uncomfortable than it should be.

To relax, try the following:

  • Breathe slowly and deeply when the exam starts.
  • Relax the muscles in your stomach, thighs and buttocks.
  • Let your knees fall out to either side as if you are sitting cross-legged on the floor.
  • Resist the impulse to lift your pelvis off the table.
  • Distract yourself by thinking of something that makes you feel calm. Some women find talking with the doctor about what's happening during the exam helps to decrease their fear and anxiety.
Last updated May 26, 2008