Two methods for a scheduled post partum examination were compared on a commercial dairy farm. In Group 1, all cows (n = 601) were examined by rectal palpation between day 20 and 26 post partum for signs of endometritis (vaginal discharge, enlarged uterus). In Group 2, all cows (n = 652) were examined by external inspection for vaginal discharge as a sign for endometritis. In both groups all cows with endometritis were treated twice with prostaglandin F2 alpha (25 mg of dinoprost) in a 14-day interval. The proportion of cows with signs of endometritis was 33.3% and 17.2% in Group 1 and Group 2, respectively (p < 0.05). In Group 1, the conception rate (39.0% vs 49.3%) and the proportion of cows pregnant (60.5% vs 72.6%) were lower for cows with endometritis than for cows without endometritis. In Group 2, no significant differences were found in reproductive performance for cows with and without signs of endometritis. No significant differences in reproductive performance were found for cows with endometritis between the two groups. Also, for cows without endometritis no significant differences in reproductive performance were found between the groups. It is concluded that the post partum examination by rectal palpation was more sensitive in finding cows with endometritis. However, with regard to the reproductive performance the more sensitive method was not more effective than the method based on systematic external inspection.