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New Findings from obp Expose the “Uncomfortable” Truth in Pelvic Examinations

New Findings from obp Expose the “Uncomfortable” Truth in Pelvic Examinations

Women could experience more comfort during pelvic exams just by having their health providers change their speculum


LAWRENCE, Mass.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–obp, the leading global developer of single-use, self-contained, illuminating medical devices, today announced new findings from a survey conducted on their behalf by The Harris Poll. The survey, conducted online in the U.S. among 967 women aged 18-65, determined the primary challenges when it comes to pelvic exams including specific sources of discomfort, ways to improve the exam experience and potential benefits of a more comfortable experience.

This survey was conducted by The Harris Poll on behalf of obp from Feb. 6-8, 2019. Of the 967 women ages 18-65, 886 have ever had a pelvic exam while 116 identified as clinicians who care for patients.

Key findings from poll participants, women aged 18-65 who have ever had a pelvic exam, demonstrated:

  • Uncomfortable (60%) is the top word women use to describe pelvic exams
  • 87% of women dread pelvic exams, and among women aged 18-34 who have ever had a pelvic exam, this number jumps to 93%
  • 42% of women attribute this dread to discomfort associated with the speculum used
  • Comfort issues are the reason 24% of women aged 18-65 who have ever had a pelvic exam have skipped pelvic exams

“These findings show us that a speculum designed with the patient experience in mind is critically important,” said Jason Swift, Chief Executive Officer at obp. “Making simple yet key device enhancements targeted at minimizing pelvic exam discomfort gives us the ability to improve routine pelvic exam attendance.”

Women want more choices when it comes to the speculum used in their routine pelvic exams. Providers who take in to account this feedback are more likely to have patients who keep their pelvic exam appointments. Approximately 75 percent of women aged 18-65 who have ever had a pelvic exam would be less likely to skip a pelvic exam if the experience was more comfortable.

“I consistently hear from patients that elements of the standard disposable speculum, such as the clicking noise, make for an uncomfortable pelvic exam experience,” said Dr. Nyia Noel, MD, MPH, Director of Minimally Invasive Gynecologic Surgery at Boston Medical Center and Assistant Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Boston University School of Medicine, as well as a consultant for obp Medical. “The findings from the survey showcase that not only do patients feel discomfort, but that the experience could also be more positive for providers.”

In addition to the survey, obp plans to attend this year’s American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) Annual Meeting in Nashville from May 3-6. Please visit booth #904 to learn more about the company and technology.


Survey Methodology
This survey was conducted online within the United States by The Harris Poll on behalf of obp from February 6-8, 2019 among 967 women ages 18-65, among whom 886 have had a pelvic exam. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables and subgroup sample sizes, please contact Kelly Ottaviano at


About The Harris Poll:
The Harris Poll is one of the longest running surveys in the U.S. tracking public opinion, motivations and social sentiment since 1963 that is now part of Harris Insights & Analytics, a global consulting and market research firm that delivers social intelligence for transformational times. We work with clients in three primary areas; building twenty-first-century corporate reputation, crafting brand strategy and performance tracking, and earning organic media through public relations research. Our mission is to provide insights and advisory to help leaders make the best decisions possible.


About obp:
obp is the leading global developer of single-use, self-contained, illuminating medical devices. We integrate light with device — making them one — creating effective and simplified single-use solutions. Our innovative products are used in more than 10,000 physician offices, clinics, surgery centers and hospitals throughout the United States and worldwide. For more information about obp and our line of self-illuminating medical devices, please visit, check out our Simple, Bright Ideas Blog or find us on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook. obp is proud to be ISO13485 certified.



Katie Dodge

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obp Important Update

obp Medical - including all vaginal specula, anoscopes, laryngoscopes, kits and accessories - has been acquired by CooperSurgical as of 5/3/21. All surgical products – included surgical retractors and suction devices – are now available exclusively through obp Surgical Corporation.