Lynn Payer wrote a great book a while back called Medicine and Culture. I remember that Americans were put on medication if their blood pressure was too high, and Germans were put on medication if their blood pressure was too low. Here’s an amazing example of differences in medical treatment between the UK and Germany for the same “condition” — normal pregnancy. Be sure to read the comments!
I asked a leading UK ObGyn with whom I’ve had a life long relationship what he thought. Here are my dad’s comments:
I agree entirely with Dr Crippen, vaginal examinations in pregnancy require a proper indication. apart from that there is no indication for performing vaginal ultrasound after about 13 weeks as abdominal u/s gives more information. About the only indications for v/e in pregnancy are to give an assessment of pelvic size in late pregnancy if the head does not engage in a primigravida (prior to xray pelvimetry if elective c/s for disproportion is contemplated) or to assess the state of the cervix if labour (in your language, labor!) is to be induced. In early pregnancy the only indication I would accept is in the investigation of vaginal infection (discharge). If there is any doubt as to the progress of early pregnancy, either diagnosis or possible missed abortion then vaginal u/s is indicated.