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A digital (finger) rectal examination checks for abnormalities of organs or other structures in the pelvis and lower abdomen. During a digital rectal exam, a doctor inserts a lubricated, gloved finger of one hand into the rectum and may use the other hand to press on the lower abdomen or pelvic area.
The exam may be done to check the prostate gland or the uterus and ovaries. The doctor can also feel other structures in the pelvis.
The exam may be done to help identify the cause of symptoms such as rectal bleeding or blood in the stool, abdominal or pelvic pain, a change in bowel habits, or urinary problems.
Current as of: October 19, 2023
Author: Healthwise Staff
Clinical Review BoardAll Healthwise education is reviewed by a team that includes physicians, nurses, advanced practitioners, registered dieticians, and other healthcare professionals.
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