An Annual Well Woman Exam Is Important At Any Stage Of Womanhood
An annual well woman exam is important at any stage of womanhood. Women who are twenty-somethings and women who are post menopausal plus everyone in between can benefit from a well woman exam. It’s a great way to know that you are healthy, you are preventing any issues, plus it is covered by most insurance.
Why You Should Get A Well Woman Exam
No matter your age, annual checkups are a tool for both you and your OBGYN. They can help you to begin and nurture a relationship with your doctor. They will also make you more comfortable to discuss all manner of topics about your general health and your sexual health.
Many women spend a great deal of their lives caring for others, but it is vital for you to care for yourself, so schedule and go to your annual well woman exam.
Your doctor needs to know everything about your medical history. Do you have chronic and/or genetic diseases like diabetes or risk factors for heart disease? Knowing your complete medical history will allow your physician to recommend the right diagnostic tests and preventative care.
If you have risk factors for heart disease, a plan might be recommended to help you stop smoking. It will become an invaluable tool not only for you, but also for your children and grandchildren who may be at risk for certain diseases.
During each annual well woman exam your physician will assess your current health vs your last visit, what changes may have occurred, and what you may need at each stage of your life.
In your 20s and 30s
- The HPV vaccine may be given
- Checks on blood pressure, your BMI and how to maintain a healthy weight
- Overall health habits
- Discussion of reproductive plans
- Flu shot
- Pap smear to screen for cervical cancer
In your 40s
- Mammograms will begin including armpits every one to two years
- Pap smear every 3 years
- Check for high cholesterol
- Discussion or perimenopause and what changes to expect
- Flu shot
In your 50s
The common age for menopause to begin is 51.
- Still need regular exams after menopause, but may not need a pap smear
- Flu shot
- Shingles shot
In your 60s and beyond
- Pap smears every 5 years if there have been no previous issues.
- Effects of natural aging and possible hormone replacement therapy
- Bone density testing for osteoporosis
This is an important part of a well woman exam. You will be presented with birth control options and lifestyle changes to make if you plan to become pregnant.
Screening For Disease
Every well woman exam will include a breast exam to detect breast cancer.
In addition there will be screenings for HPV and STDs if appropriate, and blood tests to check cholesterol levels and diabetes.
By age 21 you should get your first pap smear to detect cervical cancer.
Regardless of your age, your OBGYN is there to counsel you for all sexual, physical, and emotional issues you may experience throughout your life.