The well woman visit provides an excellent opportunity to counsel patients about maintaining a healthy lifestyle and minimizing health risks. It includes a physical examination along with screening, evaluation and counseling.
What is included in a wellness exam?
- A physical examination
- Checking your vitals
- Checking BMI
- Examination of personal and family medical histories
- Discussion of current lifestyle and health choices
- Screenings and immunizations
- Establishing a plan for your health
Screenings may vary depending on age and risk. During your wellness exam you may receive screening for cholesterol, diabetes, mammogram, pap test, osteoporosis, or sexually transmitted infections.
Your provider may ask you about current stress, physical activity, diet, tobacco, alcohol and drug use. Much of the exam is discussion about ways to improve overall health through lifestyle and healthy decision making. Be honest in your answers — full information helps you and your provider work together for the best outcome.
An individualized approach to care allows us to respect the choices and personal preferences for women of all backgrounds and philosophies. Some of the key reasons to visit a gynecologist include:
- Adolescent gynecology
- Family planning and contraception
- Evaluation and management of of menstrual irregularities
- Evaluation and treatment of PMS/PMDD
- Hormone therapy
What to Expect at Your Gynecological Examination?
Breast examination starts at age twenty-five. This helps your healthcare provider identify if there are any worrisome irregularities in the breast tissue. Your provider generally examines the breasts for a few minutes to check for any pain, discomfort or lumps. If you’re over 40 years of age your provider may recommend that you get a mammogram screening done.
The pelvic examination needs to be conducted every two years for women between ages twenty one and thirty and three to five years for women over thirty, provided they have had three consecutive normal pap smear tests. For women over 65 years of age, who’ve had three or more normal pap smear tests in a row in the last ten years can stop taking the test.
HPV & Sexually Transmitted Disease Screenings
Women who are thirty and over should be screened for HPV every three to five years along with a pap smear test. Women who are sexually active and have more than one sexual partner should be screened for chlamydia and gonorrhea as a part of their yearly gynecological exam. Additional screenings for herpes, syphilis and HIV may be recommended.