Let's put medical terminology into everyday words and ideas that are easy to understand and relate to. In a hurry? Use our search bar to find exactly what you're looking for.
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You know anytime they say, "This may be a bit uncomfortable," you're in for a little pain. If you're having a pap smear, the speculum is the tool the doctor always jokes about, "warming up" before he slides it into your vagina and you pretend he, (or she) is Channing Tatum, or someone equally appealing to look at. The speculum allows the doctor to see deeper inside the vaginal canal and see the opening of the vagina, where the cervix resides. According to Sexual Health Matters, the first speculum was used back in 100-250 A.D.!
A specialized form of vaginal speculum is the weighted speculum, which consists of a broad half tube which is bent at about a 90 degree angle, with the channel of the tube on the exterior side of the angle. One end of the tube has a roughly spherical metal weight surrounding the channel of the speculum. A weighted speculum is placed in the vagina during vaginal surgery with the patient in the lithotomy position. The weight holds the speculum in place and frees the surgeon's hands for other tasks.