A women’s wellness exam, or checkup, includes health screenings and medical care for gynecological conditions and other diseases specific to women’s needs. A well-woman exam is an important part of a woman’s preventive health care, regardless of her age. What happens at this annual exam depends a lot on your stage of life, your sexual history, and any health concerns.
What to Expect
Annual well-woman exams usually include four main elements: a physical, a pelvic exam, a pap smear, and a breast exam. These exams are essential and are designed to set a baseline for your general health while offering a screening of medical risks that specifically affect women. After all, 38% of women suffer from one or more chronic diseases, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Women benefit from having their first wellness screening between ages 13–15 or when they become sexually active. Usually, the doctors don’t perform a pelvic exam at this early visit unless symptoms require it. Women 21 and older should get a pelvic exam and pap smear once per year to detect for signs of cervical cancer. Breast exams should be performed each year as well, and mammograms are recommended after age 40. As you get older, or if your health changes, your wellness visits may include other tests and exams.
How to Prepare for Your Annual Gynecology Exam
Make Time for Questions
Your well-woman exam is also a time for you to raise any questions you may have about your menstrual cycle, birth control, STDs, menopause, or unusual symptoms. Never be afraid to ask your doctor to explain what they’re doing, and feel free to ask as many questions as you need to be comfortable.
A well woman exam is the only way to detect early stages of cervical cancer, and it’s the first line of defense against diseases of the female reproductive system. That’s why it’s so important to be diligent with scheduling your annual exam. We know that many women feel anxious about their annual well-woman exams, especially if it’s your first. At Florida Urogynecology, we try to make your exam comfortable and easy, so we can detect irregularities and concerns as early as possible. Contact our office today to schedule your annual well-woman exam.
To schedule your annual well-woman exam, please fill out the contact form below or call our office.