What is a well woman exam?
A well woman exam, also known as a routine gynecological exam or a preventive care visit, is a comprehensive medical check-up specifically for women. It is typically conducted by a healthcare provider, such as a gynecologist or a primary care physician, and focuses on evaluating and maintaining a woman's reproductive and overall health.
What does a well woman exam include?
During a well woman exam, various components may be included, depending on factors such as age, medical history, and individual needs. The following are commonly addressed:
Medical History Review: The healthcare provider will discuss your medical history, including any previous illnesses, surgeries, medications, or concerns you may have.
Physical Examination: A physical examination may involve measuring vital signs, such as blood pressure, and examining your overall health, including heart, lungs, breasts, and abdomen.
Pelvic Examination: This examination involves inspecting the external genitalia, examining the vagina and cervix using a speculum, and palpating the reproductive organs to check for abnormalities.
Pap Smear or Cervical Cancer Screening: This test involves collecting a sample of cells from the cervix to screen for cervical cancer or detect any precancerous changes.
Breast Examination: The healthcare provider may perform a clinical breast exam to check for any abnormalities, lumps, or changes in breast tissue.
Screening for Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs): Depending on your sexual history, age, and risk factors, the healthcare provider may recommend STI screening tests such as chlamydia, gonorrhea, or human papillomavirus (HPV).
Contraception and Family Planning: The well woman exam is an opportunity to discuss contraceptive methods, family planning options, and any questions or concerns you may have related to sexual health.
Health Counseling: The healthcare provider may offer guidance and counseling on various topics such as menstrual health, menopause, nutrition, exercise, mental health, and general wellness.
Additional Screenings: Depending on your age and risk factors, additional screenings may be recommended, such as mammograms for breast cancer, bone density tests for osteoporosis, or colon cancer screenings.
It's important to note that the specific components of a well woman exam can vary based on factors such as age, individual needs, and the healthcare provider's preferences. It is advisable to discuss the details of the examination with your healthcare provider to understand what will be included in your specific case.
If you're interested in a well woman exam and would like to learn more about this service, call our office today and we'll help to answer your questions.