Your annual well care visit is important not only for your preventive health and wellness, but because it is an opportunity for you to reassure yourself that your body is working as it should. Breast exams and mammograms are only part of a woman’s complete annual well care routine. Depending on your age, your risk factors, your family medical history, and other factors, our women’s health specialists may recommend several other screenings or tests be performed on a routine basis.
Components of your annual exam include:
- Physical exam. Your physical exam essentially takes stock of your overall health and assesses matters such as your weight, body mass index, blood pressure and other related factors.
- Pelvic exam. Pelvic exams are recommended beginning at age 21 or at the onset of sexual activity, and Pap smears are recommended every three years (on an annual basis) until age 65, unless otherwise indicated.
- Pap smears are likely to be recommended on an annual basis.
- Bone density tests may be recommended every two years.
Our women’s health specialists can counsel you on any matters that could be worrying you and provide details about maintaining a healthy lifestyle and managing any individual risk factors. Schedule a consultation with Dr. Robert (Bob) Chin, or Dr. James (Jim) DeRossitt to learn which routine screenings are right for you and how often they should be performed.
The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists currently recommends that a woman’s first well-woman visit should take place between ages 13 and 15, though this visit typically would not include a pelvic exam.
Knowing your family health history is an important part of a well-woman visit and can help keep you aware of conditions for which you may be at risk or any necessary screenings.