The thought of having your annual gynecological exam might be nerve-wracking, but it is a straightforward and quick procedure that is an important part of maintaining your overall health.
The purpose of your routine annual gynecology exam is to allow a health care provider to check your female organs to ensure and maintain good gynecological health. The physical portion of the exam takes about 10 minutes and there is a time before and after the exam to ask and answer any questions you might have.
Women should start receiving annual gynecology exams between the ages of 18 and 21, or when they become sexually active. However, if you are experiencing any gynecological symptoms, you should schedule an exam sooner and bring a list of questions you would like answered. Such symptoms include irregularities in the menstrual cycle, unusual or severe vaginal or pelvic pain, abnormal vaginal bleeding or discharge, swelling, tenderness, sores, lumps, or itching, or unusual changes in the breast.
That’s not all! If you have bladder control issues, menopausal symptoms, or even weight gain, let us know. At Women’s Excellence, we offer a variety of services to our patients and we are able to address these issues at your annual exam and determine your plan of care.
At an annual exam, a woman should expect to undergo a pap smear. This is a test conducted to check for cervical cancer and other such concerns. Women should plan on having a pap smear at least once every three years and on an annual basis if she is older, or has ever tested positive for HPV. The pap smear consists of a simple swab of the cervix and vaginal area. The swab is used to look for any abnormal cellular growth that could be an indication of pre-cancerous growths. The procedure is painless, and it is usually complete in a matter of minutes.
In addition to the pap smear you should expect a pelvic examination and clinical breast examination depending on your age.
Finally, an annual gynecology visit is the perfect time to discuss birth control options. There are pills that can be taken daily, patches that can be replaced weekly, rings that can be inserted monthly, and shots that last for several months. In addition, women can choose more permanent options such as IUDs or sterilization if a woman’s situation warrants longer-lasting birth control protection. The right choice for any given women is based on many things, including her desire to have children in the future and her current state of health. Having an open, honest discussion with one of our gynecologists is the best way to determine the best birth control option.
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Contact our friendly staff at Women’s Excellence to make an appointment for your annual gynecological exam and any women’s health issue that you have. We’ll be happy to help you find solutions.