We’ve all been there. We know it’s time for our annual gynecology appointment, but we feel just fine. We have no issues, our period is right on time and seems normal. No complaints, so why take the time to go through another doctor appointment? Let’s explore the serious reasons of how annual well-woman exams help you live better and longer.
Purpose of Your Annual Well-Woman Exam
This appointment is all about prevention. Even though you may feel fine and have no symptoms, that doesn’t necessarily mean all is “well.” A well-woman exam is an opportunity for preventative care and counseling. Each part of the exam looks for anything out of the ordinary and screens for problems.
Prevention of Cervical Cancer
During a well-woman exam, Atlanta Women’s Obstetrics & Gynecology will perform a pap smear every three years to look for any abnormalities like cancerous cells, pre-cancerous cells, or signs of the human papillomavirus (HPV) linked to cervical cancer.
Professional Breast Exam
Each year your gynecologist will perform a breast exam looking for any changes to your breast tissue. This is something you should be doing yourself each month, and your doctor can show you how. Depending on your age and risk factors, you may get a referral for a mammogram screening.
A General Health Screening
Another set of tests will look at the health of your total reproductive system. A pelvic exam will look at your vagina, cervix, fallopian tubes, ovaries, vulva, and uterus.
Labs will include a urinalysis, blood tests, a cholesterol check, and look at your kidneys, liver, and thyroid.
Opportunity to Receive Counseling
You have the chance to ask questions and verbalize concerns. Use this as a chance to get to know your gynecologist.
They can help with the following:
- Nutrition and fitness
- Tips for minimizing health risks
- Opportunity to discuss depression
- Birth control options
- Family planning
Peace of Mind
Once you have completed the exam and have all test results, you can relax and know your reproductive health is in order—and in good hands.