No More Pelvic Exams?

By Erika Edwards

Published 06/30 2014 04:35PM

Updated 06/30 2014 04:40PM

(NBC News)  Routine check-ups with a gynecologist may no longer include something women have come to expect during visits: The pelvic exam.

The American College of Physicians now recommends against the practice, saying it may do more harm than good, calling it an "unnecessary ritual".

"They've looked at a large number of studies, and they find that the majority of women don't have improved health because of these internal exams," notes the Cleveland Clinic's Dr. Sharon Sutherland.

The group says the exams can lead to false positives, potentially adding to healthcare costs, and are a source of embarrassment for some women. 

It goes on to say it does nothing to reduce deaths and only rarely finds dangerous disease.

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