- General examination may reveal cool or warm peripheries, cachexia, anaemia or jaundice.
- Temperature and heart rate are important as blood pressure will be maintained until the woman is no longer able to compensate with increasing heart rate.
- Include assessment of the upper abdomen and renal angles as well as the lower abdomen.
- Many causes of an acute abdomen can cause peritonism with rebound tenderness or guarding.
- Rovsing's sign is classical for appendicitis where pressure on the left iliac fossa elicits pain on the right.
- Speculum examination should normally include the taking of triple swabs to test for infection.
- Bimanual examination should include assessment of uterine size, mobility, cervical excitation (cervical motion test), adnexal masses and adnexal tenderness.
- Rectal examination may be indicated, for example where constipation or other bowel pathology is suspected.