I have to say, from most of the literature I’ve read, the vaginal exam at the end of pregnancy provides little else than a sense of peace for the birthing mother and her partner. Which is just fine, mind you. And this article explains what can be learned from a vaginal exam at 36 weeks, and what can not.
My current pregnant mom just recently had a vaginal exam, she’ll be 40 weeks on tuesday, and the soul purpose was so that her partner could concentrate on work, as he has started to panic about when the baby might show up.
Also, my favorite line from this article:
"Position of the cervix: The cervix will move from being more posterior to anterior. Many women can tell when the cervix begins to move around because when a vaginal exam is performed it no longer feels like the cervix is located near her tonsils.”