A vaginal speculum, conical in shape made out of clear plastic resin or metal that when closed can easily and gently be inserted into the introitus (vaginal opening). In certain embodiments, an obturator is used to introduce and/or expand the speculum. Various mechanisms are disclosed for dilating the speculum, after it has been inserted, so as to allow inspection of the patient's cervix. Such dilation can be effected relative to multiple axes, or even in substantially continuous, radial fashion about the periphery of the speculum, for improved visualization. In addition, this speculum has a handle that is oriented such that a vaginal exam can be performed on a standard exam table. The handle also includes a receptacle that receives a standard pen light. A light pipe directs light from the pen light to illuminate the cervix.