An annual well-woman exam is among the most important steps a woman of any age can take to protect her gynecological health. Many health conditions develop over time, and are most treatable when caught early through preventive screenings or a physical examination that are part of a well-woman exam. Routine exams also provide an opportunity to ask your healthcare professional questions and build a trusting provider-patient relationship.
An annual well-woman exam begins with a general physical examination, including height, weight and blood pressure assessments, along with taking a medical history. That is followed by:
Every woman should have an annual well-woman care exam starting in her mid teens, according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Adolescents and young women, under the age of 21 who are not sexually active, will typically not have a pelvic exam or Pap smear as part of their visit. Pap smears performed prematurely can detect minimal changes that aren’t a sign of cancer, and can lead to extensive, unnecessary testing. Still, other important health issues are addressed. These include: assessing whether a young patient’s development of secondary sex characteristics is normal, addressing any issues with menstrual cycle irregularities, monitoring weight and severe acne, which can be signs of polycystic ovary syndrome. Our team also provide young women with health information, instruction on how to perform a self breast exam, and are always willing to answer questions about gynecological health, sex and contraception.
Feel free to email us regarding any scheduling or general questions!