A speculum is a medical device that is inserted into the vagina to allow the doctor to see the inside of the vagina and the cervix. It is a metal or plastic instrument that has a handle and a blade. The blade is inserted into the vagina and then opened up so that the doctor can see inside. The handle is used to hold the speculum in place and to control the opening and closing of the blade.
There are two main types of speculums: the bivalve and the univalve. The bivalve speculum has two blades that open up like a clamshell. The univalve speculum has a single blade that opens up like a duckbill.
The speculum is inserted into the vagina with the blades closed. The doctor then opens the blades to the desired width and examines the vagina and cervix. After the examination, the doctor closes the blades and removes the speculum from the vagina.
Complications Associated with the Use of a Speculum
There are several complications that can occur with the use of a speculum. The most common complication is vaginal lacerations. These can occur when the blades of the speculum are opened too wide or inserted too deeply into the vagina. Other complications include infection, bleeding, and tissue damage.
The term speculum can also be used to refer to a number of other medical devices. These include:
- Anoscope: A medical device that is inserted into the anus in order to allow the doctor to examine the inside of the rectum and anus.
- Colposcope: A medical device that is used to examine the cervix and vagina. It uses a light and magnifying lens to allow the doctor to get a closer look at the tissue.
- Sigmoidoscope: A medical device that is inserted into the rectum and sigmoid colon in order to allow the doctor to examine the inside of these organs.
- Tympanoscope: A medical device that is inserted into the ear in order to allow the doctor to examine the eardrum.
This image shows how often the term ‘Speculum’ is used in relation to other, similar birth terms:
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