The CSPH has a number of pelvic health instruments for public education. Vaginal speculums are used during routine internal pelvic exams to see the inside of the vaginal canal. The rectum can be examined using an anoscope, but The CSPH does not have any of those in stock.
In recent years, hospitals and medical personnel have been moving towards purchasing plastic speculums instead of the traditional metal speculums. The former have been adopted because they allow providers to see the entire vaginal canal instead of having to rotate the metal speculum to get a 360-degree view.
While The CSPH believes people should honor their personal preferences when it comes to which tools are used in and on their genitals, we feel it is important to keep in mind the following:
1. Plastic speculums are generally one-use-only and thus contribute to increasing levels of landfill waste.
2. How much plastic speculum open is harder to fine-tune, as they come with pre-selected widths from which to choose. Because of this, plastic speculums have more limitations when it comes to adjusting the instrument for the patients’ comfort or the provider’s needs.
3. Plastic speculums cause more drag against the vaginal tissue when they are being used, and thus metal speculums can be a better option for individuals who have pelvic pain issues.
4. Plastic speculums can sometimes break while inside the vagina. While rare, it can be uncomfortable for both the provider and the person getting the exam.
Speculums at The CSPH:
Pelvic Pain Kit
Pelvic pain is any pain that one experiences in the lower abdomen, pelvis, genitals or genital region, or rectum. (For more information about pelvic pain, click here.)
The kit includes:
- Various vaginal dilators
- Sphincter relaxation items
- Prostate health devices
- Kegel exercise kits
- Pain mapping materials
- Small metal speculum
- Bumper (used during sexual encounters to prevent deep penetration with a partner)