Does your elderly mom need a pelvic exam?

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In our case the answer was yes. Turns out a pelvic exam is not a standard part of a nursing home medical evaluation. We never, ever, would have thought that MIL had neglected her own personal medical care because even in her dementia she loved to see doctors. She was constantly making appointments all her life for the slightest problem. She had recurring UTIs this year until they solved the problem with better hygienic training, at first that was what they thought was the suspected slight bleeding. Then she suffered from stress diarrhea and they thought that was the bleeding. When the bleeding continued an aide that was cleaning her noticed "something".

That something turned out to be a pessary device. Shaped like a die, sizewise it was about halfway between a regular die and one you would hang from a rearview mirror! The device was on a "keychain", for easy removal.

Removing the device wasn't easy, a gynecologist had to really work to get it out as it had been in place for years. Painful for her, it was a bloody ordeal. He was reproachful that we hadn't gotten her a pelvic exam immediately after she was declared incompetent.

So maybe, just maybe, you might want to have a gynecologist "look under the hood" if your elderly mom is suffering from dementia.

When the gynecologist asked her how long she had been bleeding, she said it had been for years. When I asked why she never told her doctor, she said, "well it would start and then stop" and she shrugged.

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I am 60 years old, and just recently had a pap smear etc. My doctor told me that the studies have shown that cervical cancer in women 63 and over is VERY RARE, and so since I didn't have to have a pelvic except every 3 years anyway, I DON'T HAVE TO HAVE A PELVIC EVERY AGAIN YAY!!! So... if that's the case and your mother's bleeding problem has been resolved, then leave her alone with this. You can double check yourself if you want, but if she were my mom, I'd just let her alone.

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