Gynecologists specialize in the reproductive health and organs of females. They test female organs, treat them for disease and care for prenatal, natal and post-natal women. The tools gynecologists use are designed for the numerous procedures that are often conducted on patients.
A speculum is a plastic or metal tool that is inserted into the vagina and allows the gynecologist to examine the area or retrieve a sample from the cervix. To lessen the discomfort of the tool, doctors often lubricate the speculum with a gel or warm the tool if it is metal. A speculum is typically used on patients who come in for a pelvic exam.
A laminaria stick is a thin rod of laminaria, which is a species of brown algae. This tool is typically used in the obstetrician field. Since most gynecologists are obstetricians as well, this is also a common tool for gynecologists. The laminaria stick is inserted into the cervix to induce labor. It is also used for surgical procedures. Once the stick is placed in the cervix it slowly absorbs water and expands over several hours, dilating the cervix and bringing on labor.
A colposcope is used for colposcopy procedures. Colposcopes are magnifying binoculars that light up and enlarge the view of the cervix, vagina, and vulva. These tools help gynecologists identity cancerous cells in the cervix or any other abnormalities. Colposcope procedures typically last only 10 to 15 minutes. Since the colposcope isn't placed inside the examination area, the procedure is usually painless.
Sponge forceps are shaped like scissors and can be either curved or straight. There are several different types of forceps, but sponge forceps are preferred by gynecologists because they help prevent surgical trauma and damage. Sponge forceps are frequently used for female sterilization procedures, inguinal hernia repairs and removal of polyps. The insertion of intrauterine devices often requires the use of sponge forceps as well.
Christina Caldwell is a contributor for online publications such as Women's eNews and Little Pink Book. Her work has also been featured in the popular U.K. magazine "Black Heritage Today." Caldwell holds a bachelor's degree in marketing and communications.