A well-woman exam is a female preventive care visit. Preventative care is essential to maintain your health. Diseases such as heart disease, diabetes and certain cancers are preventable and can be avoided, minimized or improved with routine screening. At your visit, we will screen for all of these and more.
We will help you become familiar with signs and symptoms of female cancers like breast-, colon-, uterine-, ovarian- and cervical cancer. You will also learn about choosing the right birth control method for you. You will have the opportunity to discuss and receive vaccinations, like the human papillomavirus (HPV). If you or your health care provider feel you are at risk, you will be screened for sexually transmitted infections (STIs), such as chlamydia, gonorrhea, and genital herpes, which are infections that are spread by sexual contact. We will also discuss what happens during intercourse, pain during sex, hormonal changes that change interest or response to sex, and different forms of sex.
We may also ask you questions about your eating and exercise habits, and we may counsel you on alcohol, tobacco or drug use. This is also an opportunity to discuss any physical or emotional issues you may be experiencing so that your doctor can take the appropriate steps to treat them. You will learn about body mass index (BMI), exercise, obesity, diet, surgery, and health problems associated with being overweight.
If you are planning to become pregnant, it is a good idea to have preconception counseling, which can be discussed at this visit. Your health care provider will ask about your diet and lifestyle, your medical and family history, medications you take, and any past pregnancies so that the appropriate counseling can be provided.
You will have a complete physical examination. This includes measuring height, weight, and body mass as well as taking blood pressure and performing a thorough exam. This also includes breast examination, examination of the outer genitalia and inner parts of the reproductive system. A Pap smear may be performed to screen for pre-cancerous cells in the cervix. Blood, urine and sexually transmitted disease screenings may also be performed.
This visit is also an opportunity to bring up any other problems or concerns that you may want to discuss.