Warming That Speculum
by Brenda L. Hagan, MSN, FNP

The speculum can be warmed for use, as well as lubricated, by holding it under the warm water stream from the faucet for a few seconds. Be sure to check it to ensure it isn't too hot. If you have any doubt, place the warmed speculum against the patient's inner thigh and ask her assessment of the temperature. If you have no means to warm the speculum, placing the cool speculum against her inner thigh prior to insertion helps to warn her of the temperature.

If your exam table does not have a warmer drawer for speculums you can place a heating pad into the drawer and turn it on low. This is especially helpful if you use the plastic speculums that are prelubricated and designed to be used without moistening. The heated drawer also helps to keep your lubricating jelly warm.

Last updated:  September 25, 2000


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