Well Woman Exam

Taking full advantage of all that preventive healthcare has to offer has never been easier for women, especially since the annual well-woman exam was developed. If you like to stay on top of your health, the team of experts at Total Woman Care in Elkin, North Carolina can help. They use their specialized skills and broad base of knowledge to provide comprehensive annual well-woman exams, including routine cancer screenings and general health screenings. If you’re due for a check-up, call or book your appointment online today.

What is a well-woman exam?

The annual well-woman exam is a cornerstone of preventive care in gynecological medicine. Depending on where you’re at in life, it’s an opportune time to learn more about your birth control options, receive preconception counseling, talk about fertility problems, or get help with menopause symptoms.

Your gynecologist at Total Woman Care will also cover some of the most important aspects of your health, including:

- General health: Depending on your age and health history, your well-woman exam may include screenings for high blood pressure, diabetes, bone density, and other common conditions.

- Cancer screenings: When recommended, you’ll undergo routine screenings for breast and cervical cancer; you may also have a colon cancer screening.

- Menstrual cycle issues: Your well-woman exam is the perfect time to discuss menstrual cycle abnormalities, including heavy bleeding, pelvic pain, or irregular periods.

- Vaccinations: You may also receive your annual flu shot or a vaccination to protect you from HPV.

- Sexual infection screening: If you’re concerned about sexually transmitted infections (STI), you can request STI screenings, including tests for chlamydia, gonorrhea, genital herpes, or any other infection that’s spread through sexual contact.

- Concerns about sex: If you have any concerns about sex, including questions about painful intercourse, libido problems, or hormonal changes, you can address them during your exam.

- Weight control: Your gynecologist can also help you understand how regular physical activity and optimal nutrition can help you maintain a healthy body weight as you approach menopause.

When should I get a Pap test?

A Pap smear test detects abnormal cells in your cervix, which is located where the lower part of your uterus opens into your vagina. Because it’s highly effective at catching abnormal cells early on, the Pap test is an essential tool in cervical cancer prevention.

Usually part of a routine pelvic exam, a Pap smear is generally recommended every three years for women between the ages of 21 and 65.

Starting at age 30, your gynecologist may recommend that you simply continue having a Pap test every three years or start having a Pap test along with an HPV screening every five years.

Women who have a higher risk for cervical cancer generally require more frequent Pap smears.

When should I have my first mammogram?

It’s recommended that most women begin having annual mammograms starting at age 40. A mammogram, which uses special X-ray technology, can help detect early-stage breast cancer in women who don’t yet have any signs or symptoms of the disease. Mammograms can also help assess any lumps found during a routine breast exam.