It’s A New Year: Time to Schedule an Annual Exam!
Happy New Year everyone! We’re so glad to be back seeing patients, both new and returning. And we want all of our patients to start the year off on a healthy foot. So we wanted to talk about why you should schedule an annual exam at A Woman’s Healing Center!
What Is An Annual Exam?
An annual exam, sometimes called a well-woman exam, is performed to help catch and prevent health problems early on. It typically consists of a pap smear and a breast exam, but can also test for other health problems.
When you schedule an annual exam at A Woman’s Healing Center we will evaluate the pelvic area (vulva, vagina, cervix, uterus, and ovaries), as well as the thyroid, heart, lungs, breasts, abdomen, back, general neurological, skin, and lymph systems. We will also have an in-depth discussion with you about any health concerns or medical needs that are unique to you.
We often discuss:
- Menstrual issues including PMS
- Perimenopausal or menopausal concerns
- Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI) screening
- Contraceptive/family planning needs
- Infertility concerns or issues
- TB or Tuberculin skin tests—as needed
- Preconception care: Nutrition, exercise, weight management, and related issues
What Is a Pap Smear?
A pap smear is performed by your gynecologist to screen for cervical cancer, human papillomavirus, and STIs. Your doctor will insert a speculum into your vagina to help them see your cervix (the lower part of the uterus that opens into the vagina). Then they will use a soft brush to collect cells from your cervix. These cells are sent to a laboratory to be tested for signs of cancer or other health problems.
What Is a Breast Exam?
A breast exam is performed to detect signs of breast cancer. This is often included in your well-woman exam but can be done in a separate appointment. Your doctor will check your breasts for physical signs of cancer, such as rashes, dimples, or hard, odd-shaped lumps.
When Should I Schedule My Exam?
It is recommended by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) that women come in for their first exam at age 21. However, we believe that you should come in for a get-to-know-you exam, even if you’re younger than age 21. In fact, there are several reasons to see a gynecologist before age 21.
But no matter your age, one of our Fort Collins gynecologists can answer your questions about periods, sexual activity, pregnancy, and your overall health and well-being. Want to know more about annual exams at A Woman’s Healing Center? Take a look at our more in-depth description of the appointment here. If you’re ready to schedule your appointment, please contact us or fill out the form below to request an appointment. We’re ready to help you take charge of your health this new year!