There’s no specific age to begin having well-woman visits. You might start having these critical annual checkups as a teenager, or you might wait until you become sexually active or reach a milestone birthday like 18 or 21. Regardless of your age, understanding what happens during a well-woman exam can help you feel more prepared and confident about your health care.
Here at All Day Medical Care, our experienced and compassionate providers offer well-woman exams to help you understand, navigate, and prevent female health issues as your body changes. Here’s what to expect during your annual well-woman visit:
After a clinical staff member measures your height, weight, and blood pressure, you go to a private room and change into a paper robe. We check your breasts for lumps and examine your abdomen and thyroid gland. We often order blood and urine tests before or after your appointment to check your thyroid function, glucose, liver, and cholesterol.
Let’s talk about sex
Your well-woman appointment is an excellent opportunity to get information about birth control, STD prevention, and how to prepare your body for pregnancy. Our team is a valuable resource to help you learn about your body, ask questions, and get accurate, useful information. After all, there are some topics you don’t want to share with your friends, sisters, or mother.
Is your menstrual cycle normal?
You know that your menstrual cycle should last 28 days or so, but what if your cycle is longer or shorter? What if you have such severe cramps or heavy bleeding that you need to stay home from work or school?
Our team can answer questions about your menstrual cycle and discuss any concerns or questions regarding your menstrual health. We can also diagnose reproductive health problems like endometriosis, polycystic ovary syndrome, and other conditions that cause abnormal periods and provide personalized treatment.
Preventive health screenings
Our team provides screenings, evaluations, counseling, and immunizations based on your age and risk factors. For example, you should begin to have Pap smears to screen for early signs of cervical cancer when you become sexually active or turn 21. We also recommend starting breast exams to detect signs of breast cancer around your 21st birthday. The good news is that you don’t necessarily need to have a Pap smear every year. Your provider can give you personalized advice on Pap smears.
We also offer STD screenings upon request or if you have an elevated risk. Most STDs, like cervical cancer, don’t cause noticeable symptoms in their early stages. These screenings are the best way to get early diagnosis and treatment.
Medical history review
We also review your family and personal health history. Your answers help us put together a risk assessment that determines what health screenings you need and how often you need them.
Ready to schedule your first annual well-woman exam? Give us a call or schedule your appointment online today.