Genitourinary Physical Exam

Perform genitourinary physical exams confidently using our cohesive template based on the popular SOAP note format.

By Alex King on Apr 08, 2024.

Fact Checked by Nate Lacson.

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What is a Genitourinary Examination?

A genitourinary physical examination is a critical assessment that focuses on the health and functionality of the genital and urinary organs—also known as the genitourinary system. This examination is conducted by healthcare professionals, such as physicians or nurse practitioners, to detect and address potential issues related to the reproductive and urinary systems.

Genitourinary examinations can feel particularly intrusive for patients due to the need to partially or fully undress and have private areas examined. Although only qualified health practitioners will conduct this examination, they can still feel very vulnerable to undergo it.

Additionally, this examination involves taking a detailed medical and surgical history, some of which may be sensitive information for your patient, such as sexual or family history. Therefore, the genitourinary physical exam must be conducted with particular sensitivity and professionalism to ensure patients feel comfortable.

As you can see, it's crucial to complete the genitourinary examination with confidence and care, and that's where our genitourinary physical exam template comes in handy!

Printable Genitourinary Physical Exam

Download this Genitourinary Physical Exam to address potential issues related to the reproductive and urinary systems.

What do these examinations assess?

During the genitourinary physical examination, a healthcare professional will typically begin by taking a comprehensive medical history and discussing any relevant symptoms or concerns. The physical examination involves a thorough inspection, palpation, and sometimes specialized tests to evaluate the condition of the genitals and surrounding structures. Additionally, the urinary system is assessed by examining the kidneys and bladder.

How to use this physical exam template

Step One. Patient details

The first step is to enter your patient's information in the spaces provided. This includes their name, date of birth, and ID. These details are essential to confirm with the patient during your introduction portion of the examination.

Step Two. Patient history (subjective information)

The next section is the subjective information section, which those of you familiar with the SOAP note format will be familiar with! This section includes their genitourinary history, which should include a thorough history and their presenting genital or urinary symptoms.

Step Three. Fill in findings for each body part (objective information)

Next is the physical examination portion of the template. Check off each of the body parts as you assess them. If all findings are normal, add your findings in the comments section provided.

Step Four. Assess the findings

Once you have assessed all the body systems that apply to your patient, it's time to synthesize all the information- both subjective and objective- to form an assessment of your patient's condition.

Step Five. Plan for the next steps

The next steps for your patient may include further examination, diagnostic imaging to confirm a diagnosis, lab testing, referral to a specialist, medication prescription, or another treatment to address their symptoms.

Genitourinary Physical Exam example (sample)

Look at our example genitourinary physical exam to see how this template can structure and organize your genitourinary physical findings. Based on a fictional patient, this sample shows how the four sections, subjective, objective, assessment, and plan, can form a clear clinical document.

Download this free Genitourinary Physical Exam example here:

Genitourinary Physical Exam example (sample)

Understanding the results

Abnormal findings in the genitourinary physical exam generally warrant further examination or testing to confirm any underlying pathology. While "normal" results are widespread, some other "abnormal" results that could potentially be found during a physical exam include:

Prostate gland

Physical examination of the prostate is completed via digital rectal examination, which can detect features such as size, asymmetry, firmness, or nodules, which may be indicative of prostate cancer. Upon an abnormal result from this part of the examination, a PSA test or biopsy is generally ordered to rule out prostate cancer.

Testes

During a physical exam, the testes are examined for size, shape, and any palpable lumps or abnormalities. This part of the examination can detect masses or changes in the testis' shape or texture, which may indicate conditions such as testicular cancer or other reproductive health issues.

Penis

Examination of the penis generally aims to detect signs of infection, abnormal or tender areas upon palpation, or abnormal urethral discharge.

Vagina and vulva

During a pelvic exam, the vagina and vulva are inspected for signs of infection, lesions, or other abnormalities. Common abnormalities that might be detected include inflammation, abnormal discharge, or changes in the vulva's appearance, which could indicate conditions like infections or precancerous lesions.

Kidney

Abnormalities such as pain in the flanks, tenderness, or abnormal masses may indicate kidney conditions, including infections, stones, or tumors.

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References

Meng, M. V., & Tanagho, E. A. (n.d.). Chapter 4: Physical Examination of the Genitourinary Tract.

How do I prepare for a genitourinary exam?
How do I prepare for a genitourinary exam?

Commonly asked questions

How do I prepare for a genitourinary exam?

To prepare for a genitourinary exam, it's a good idea to wear comfortable clothing and be ready to discuss any relevant medical history or symptoms with the healthcare provider. Follow any specific instructions provided by your healthcare professional, and remember. However, the exam and questions can seem a little invasive; your healthcare provider is only looking to ensure you are healthy, so giving the most accurate answers you can is critical.

When are genitourinary exams needed?

Genitourinary exams may be needed for routine checkups in response to specific symptoms or concerns (such as pain, discomfort, or abnormal discharge) as part of preventive healthcare measures such as screening programs or fertility assessments.

Who performs genitourinary exams?

Genitourinary exams are typically performed by healthcare professionals specializing in urology or gynecology. Urologists often conduct these exams for males, while females may undergo genitourinary exams performed by gynecologists or other healthcare providers with expertise in women's health.

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