So the next time you visit the gynecologist, fear not the speculum. But perhaps no piece of the pelvic exam is as reviled as the vaginal speculum—the cold, clicking, duck-billed apparatus that lifts and separates the vaginal walls so a near-stranger can peer inside. When the medical manufacturer Welch Allyn launched its line of specula in they came in just small and medium. But FemSpec and SoftSpec met similar fates within just a year of each other. We want to hear what you think about this article. Downer invited other women to do the same. In , Sims opened up a private hospital for women in Montgomery, Alabama.
Marianna. Age: 30.
Doctors insert the speculum into the vagina and inflate it.
Braelynn. Age: 26.
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But these modifications have been relatively minor; the basic product still works just fine. But for some women—particularly those with a history of sexual violence or bad experiences with pelvic exams in the past—it can be a huge help. Even if the tube were made of a transparent plastic, it might still conceal important symptoms.