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Ask the Medical Expert Archives 2000-2004

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Office Procedure While Menstruating
September 2000

Q. I am a 25-year-old female about to have a cystoscopy and a cystometrogram done for the first time. I just realized that my appointment is booked for the same time my menstruation cycle begins. The doctor's secretary said that this would not interfere with the procedure. I am somewhat uncomfortable with this, but it is the only appointment time available. Is it common to conduct this procedure even when women are menstruating?

A. The cystoscopy and the cystometrogram involve placing a small tube up through your urethra into your bladder. While it is true that this is close to your vagina, the tube will not be going into the vagina. For this reason, it is perfectly safe and acceptable to perform the procedure while you are menstruating.

On the other hand, I understand that many women feel uncomfortable -or at times, embarrassed- about having an exam during menstruation. This is an incredibly common feeling. If the symptoms causing you to need the procedures are severe, or if the doctor is concerned about a serious problem, I would go ahead and have the procedure, knowing that the doctor has seen this all before. Should there not be any urgency to performing the procedure, I would simply re-schedule.

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