Why You Should Schedule a Well-Woman Exam
How healthy are your reproductive organs? If you haven’t had a well-woman exam recently, it may be difficult to answer this question.
An annual well-woman exam will notify your primary care physician at Velda Rose Medical Center of any irregularities or problems. It also provides the opportunity to notify your doctor of any physical concerns. While we’d all like to assume our bodies are in great condition, sometimes they’re not. To maintain whole-body health and preventative wellness, you need to schedule general medical services like a well-woman exam.
What Happens During a Woman’s Exam?
Step 1: Personal Questionnaire
If you’ve yet to have your first exam or haven’t had an exam in several years, don’t worry. Your physician will ask you a series of questions regarding your lifestyle and medications.
Your physician will likely ask about some of the following topics:
- Drugs and alcohol
- Physical activity
- Current medications
- Pap smear
Do your best to answer each question honestly. Remember, your doctor is an experienced professional who values your health and wellness above all else.
Step 2: Physical Examination
Your exam will include a clinical breast exam as well as a pelvic exam. During your pelvic exam, it’s likely that your doctor will swab your cervix for additional testing. This procedure—known as a pap smear—may cause slight discomfort, but your physician will keep you informed throughout the entire process. It’s recommended that women receive a pap smear every three years.
Many life-threatening female conditions, including breast and cervical cancers as well as human papillomavirus (HPV), can live in your body without obvious signs and symptoms. Consequently, they’re harder to detect without testing. You may also have your blood drawn for additional testing. From start to finish, your well-woman exam should take no more than 30 minutes.
Step 3: Ask Questions
Your physician should encourage you throughout your examination to ask any questions about reproductive health and general wellness.
If you’re not sure what to ask, review the list below for inspiration:
What options do I have for birth control?
Your contraceptive needs will change from year to year. Ask about various methods, effectiveness, and complications of each birth control option. This information will help you make an informed decision about what method is best for you.
How often should I self-exam my breasts?
Establishing a habit of examining your own breasts will help you notice if something is wrong. Depending on your age, medical history, and family health, your doctor will recommend a periodic timeline. Your doctor will also show you how to perform a personal breast exam.
My menstrual cycle varies in length and flow. Is that normal?
Every woman’s body is unique, and your period is no different. If your menstrual cycle has recently changed and is too irregular, heavy, long, or short, talk to your doctor. It may be nothing, or it may be something. Either way, it’s better to know for certain.
Schedule a Well-Woman Exam With VRMC
The Velda Rose Medical staff is available to help you in any way possible. If you have questions regarding reproductive health, life-threatening female diseases, or preventative care, don’t be afraid to ask your physician. Not only will the VRMC staff happily answer your questions, but they’ll also provide pamphlets for additional information. We make discussing your well-woman exam simple so that you can get all the answers you need. Your sexual health is important—never doubt that.
Connect with the Mesa family physicians at Velda Rose Medical Center and schedule your annual wellness exam.
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