Expectations and knowledge of pelvic examinations in a random sample of Danish teenagers

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The purpose of the study was to describe teenagers' expectations and knowledge of the pelvic examination (PE). The study was carried out as a cross-sectional postal questionnaire study. A total of 1500 women, aged 17 years, were selected at random from all Danish women of that age. The response rate was 76%, and 551 of these 1112 teenagers had experienced their first PE. Among the teenagers who had not had a PE, 48% thought the examination would be painful, 29% feared that the doctor would discover abnormal anatomy, 67% felt they would be embarrassed by exposing their genitals and 23% expected to be indisposed for the rest of the examination day. Among the teenagers who had not experienced a PE, only 17% felt that they had sufficient knowledge of the examination, compared to 68% in the group who had already experienced an examination. In the group who had not experienced a PE 33% knew what the doctor was able to inspect during the instrumental part of the examination, compared to 55% in the other group with experience. It is concluded that a considerable proportion of teenagers have negative expectations of the PE, and increased effort to improve teenagers' expectations and knowledge of the PE may be recommended.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Psychosomatic Obstetrics and Gynaecology
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)93-9
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1995

    Research areas

  • Adolescent, Attitude to Health, Female, Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice, Humans, Pelvis, Physical Examination, Psychosexual Development, Sex Education

ID: 324188392