Which Is Better: Reusable or Disposable Speculums?

doctor holding a speculum

There are certain parts of our body that need some kind of special tools to check. For one thing, it can be challenging to determine the overall condition, especially of our internal body parts. In such cases, doctors use medical tools such as a disposable speculum to check certain parts of our bodies that are not visible to the naked eye.

Speculums vary in size depending on its medical purpose. Likewise, there are also ones made from metal, plastic, or even disposable ones. Speculums are usually intended for checking the vagina and cervix, while others are used to check the inside of the ear or the anal part. This medical tool is inserted into a cavity to inspect the area for any signs of health problems and be able to address these issues immediately.

Reusable or disposable?

As mentioned, speculums are either made from plastic or metal. One US-based company are currently making speculums made from silicone material. Each of these materials has its pros and cons. Nonetheless, it is important that these materials are properly maintained and sterilized before and after use to avoid further complications.

However, there are some patients who prefer plastic speculums over metal ones. For one thing, the former is said to slide better with minimal to no lubrication needed. On the other hand, the metal may feel cold once inserted but can eventually adjust to the internal body part’s natural temperature. Using metal may also be environmentally friendly than using plastic ones.

There is also the issue of cross-contamination when using reusable speculums. However, doctors and other medical personnel are trained to the proper use of these kinds of equipment, including sterilization, to ensure the patient’s safety and health.

woman consulting the gynecologist

Tips on lessening the fear of visiting a gynecologist

There are a lot of women who forego visiting a gynecologist for a pelvic exam. Among common reasons they tend to take pelvic exams for granted include the following:

  • The fear of feeling any pain during the exam
  • Being uncomfortable of the fact that a “stranger” is about to see their private area
  • They think they are healthy and do not feel any pain or discomfort in their vaginal area
  • They think it is expensive

This is why communication is important if you are planning to take a pelvic exam. For one thing, a pelvic exam should be taken by women at least 21 years old. It doesn’t matter whether you already bore children or not, sexually active or not, and even if you feel you have overall healthy reproductive health.

It is also important to look for a doctor whom you will feel more comfortable in expressing your concerns. However, patients also need to be more assertive. In return, doctors should also realize that patients also feel real feelings of anxiety and not just simple illnesses.

At the end of the day, your health should be at the top of your list. Feelings should be set aside as much as possible, although it may be easier said than done. As mentioned, communication will play an important role in lessening the fear of medical appointments in general.

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