What is included in the physical exam of female patients with suspected urethritis?

Updated: Dec 12, 2018
  • Author: Martha K Terris, MD, FACS; Chief Editor: Edward David Kim, MD, FACS  more...
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The best plan is to avoid examining the patient immediately after micturition because urination temporarily washes away discharge and potentially culturable organisms. Because urine culture is an important component of the evaluation, advise the patient to urinate approximately 2 hours before the examination so that culture and examination results are optimal and the patient can comfortably provide a urine specimen after the examination.

The patient should be in the lithotomy position.

Inspect the skin for any lesions that may indicate the presence of other STDs.

Strip the urethra by inserting a finger into the anterior vagina and stroking forward along the urethra. Any discharge should be sampled for examination.

Follow the urethral examination with a complete pelvic examination, including cervical cultures.

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