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Women's Health

Pregnancy and Vaginal Applicator

08/26/2010

Question:

I have a question regarding the insertion of things like applicator into the vaginal tract during pregnancy. From what I learn, if you have yeast infection during pregnancy, then you use Clotrimazole cream in the vagina to kill the fungus and this happens with the use of applicator. When someone is pregnant, they can still have sex with their partner. But on the instruction panel on the box of cervical cytology brush (brush to collect cervical cell for pap smear), there is a contra-indication that the brush cannot be used in a pregnant woman. I wonder why it is like this because it seems that inserting the brush to collect cervical specimen is the same as inserting an applicator to deliver antifungal cream and the same as inserting male genitalia into the vagina during sexual intercourse, so why is it dangerous to do that with cytology brush?

Answer:

You are correct that it is safe to perform vaginal insertion during pregnancy, whether it is with a medication applicator, a vaginal exam/ Pap smear, or intercourse.  However, the cervical brush that you refer to is a tool that is sometimes used to collect cells from the interior part of the cervix, called the endocervix.  The endocervix is the canal that leads to the interior of the uterus.  A doctor would try not to disturb this structure during pregnancy so as not to cause bleeding or disruption of the membrane around the baby.  Exams and Pap smears can still be safely performed in pregnancy with different tools that do not enter the endocervix.

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Response by:

Jonathan  A Schaffir, MD Jonathan A Schaffir, MD
Clnical Associate Professor of Obstetrics & Gynecology
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University