Objective: To assess perceptions about vaginal examinations (VEs) during labor among women referred to the Akbarabadi Hospital in Tehran, Iran. Methods: This was a cross-sectional study conducted from December 2015 to May 2016. It included 200 primiparous women. Convenience sampling was used to select participants. The data collection tool was a questionnaire that collected both demographic and obstetric data from participants, as well as data in relation to women’s experiences according to a designated and validated scale, 24 hours after childbirth. Higher scores were indicative of a more positive perception in relation to a participant’s experience of VE. Results: The mean ± SD score for the perception of the VE and number of examinations in the active phase of labor was 62.9 ± 26.2 and 7.4 ± 2.44, respectively. Multiple linear regression analysis showed a significant relationship between perceived duration of examination (short, average [B = −1.03], long [B = 3.84]), feeling of comfort with the examiner (B = 2.73), and number of examiners (B = −0.81) with the mean scores of their perceptions (P <.05). These 3 variables accounted for 8% of the changes in the women’s perceptions score of VE. Conclusion: The majority of participants in this study underwent excessive VEs during labor. If obstetrically safe, a reduction in the number of examinations during labor along with decreased duration based on women’s perceptions could improve women’s perceptions of VE overall. Additionally, should each VE be performed by the same clinician, women’s perceptions in relation to VEs may also improve.
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