Understanding Features and Benefits of Each Speculum Type
Typically made of plastic or medical, the cervical speculum is a tool developed in the 1800s and used still today by OB/GYNs. There are other types of speculum, such as the nasal variety, used to remove foreign bodies from body cavities, but those will not be our topic of focus. There are three main types of cervical speculum: pediatric, Pederson and Graves.
The Pediatric Speculum
Shorter in length, the pediatric speculum is intended for use in patients who have never had sexual intercourse and therefore have narrower vaginal canals. A common misconception is that the pediatric speculum is used to conduct pediatric vaginal examinations; this isn’t true. Use of a speculum in a pediatric exam could be traumatic for both the child and the parent and therefore the practice is avoided.
The Pederson Speculum
Flat and narrow, the Pederson speculum is a vaginal speculum used during OB/GYN examinations when women have narrow vaginal canals. This condition can be caused by traumatic injuries and the resulting scar tissue, but is also found in elderly women and women who have never had sexual intercourse. Using this narrow speculum type can eliminate some of the discomfort of a pelvic exam.
The Graves Speculum
The Graves speculum is the most common variety used by OB/GYNs. This vaginal speculum is commonly available in multiple sizes: small, medium and large. The bills of the Graves speculum, which resemble a duck’s mouth, are wider than the bills of the Pederson speculum, and the sides are also curved. According to the University of Washington, this type of speculum is best used in women who have had sexual intercourse. This is because the vaginal canal may be wider in sexually active women, making the wider bills of the Graves speculum necessary to visualize the cervix and other internal structures of the pelvis.
What Type of Speculum is the SpecuLume?
The SpecuLume is a Graves-style speculum available in small, medium and large sizes. Unlike traditional plastic and metal specula, the SpecuLume integrates a chemiluminescent light source which allows OB/GYNs to safely deliver bright light directly to the examination area without the encumbrance of typical light sources.
Want to try SpecuLume for yourself? Request a sample.