Well Woman Exam
QUESTION & ANSWER
What is a well-woman exam?
The annual gynecological exam, often referred to as an annual well-woman visit, is a yearly preventative and diagnostic exam that monitors any ongoing physical and hormonal conditions. The annual exam is an opportunity for you and your provider to discuss maintaining a healthy lifestyle and minimizing health risks. An annual exam can uncover several different health conditions that affect a woman’s reproductive system. These can include sexually transmitted diseases, ovarian cysts, hormonal imbalances, fibroid, cervical dysplasia, breast cancer, as well as other types of reproductive cancers.
What to expect during your well-woman exam
The annual well-woman exam includes a thorough physical examination to assess the patient’s overall health, a routine pelvic and breast exam, and may include a screening for sexually transmitted diseases, such as HPV, Chlamydia or Gonorrhea. A pap smear test may also be performed dependent upon the age and sexual history of the patient.
During your visit our highly trained staff will check your vital signs including blood pressure, height and weight measurement. A urine screening is offered in our office for patients who are experiencing symptoms of a urinary tract infection, or who have issues with frequency, or painful urination. You will partner with your practitioner to discuss and review your records and update any changes that have occurred in your family’s health history. We will analyze any medications or vitamin supplements that you are currently taking as well as evaluate for tests that may be recommended based on age, individual medical history, family history, and lifestyle habits. The tests can include mammograms, bone density screenings, blood work, ultrasounds, and colonoscopies.
Is a Pap Smear Always Performed?
While a pap smear is part of an annual well woman exam, pap smears are not always performed. The frequency of a pap smear is individualized and often based on age, risk factors, and current guidelines from The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.