Annual Health Assessment
The American College of Obstetricians & Gynecologists recommends that women over age 21 have an annual gynecological health evaluation, often called a “Well-Woman Visit.” As part of your assessment we will usually ask questions about your menstrual cycle and sexual history. We invite our patients to be completely honest and open about their sexual histories – we aren’t here to judge. We’re here to make sure you receive the best care possible, whatever your needs may be.
The visit usually includes:
The pelvic exam
The purpose of a pelvic exam is to check the health of your vulva, cervix, vaginal wall, and internal reproductive organs, including your uterus and ovaries.
Your exam will begin with a visual examination of your external genitalia. Your gynecologist will then use a device called a speculum to examine the inside of your vagina and cervix. She will also perform a bi-manual examination, which checks the health of your uterus and ovaries. In this exam, your gynecologist will place two fingers inside of your vagina and place their other hand on top of your abdomen. The exam should not be
The PAP test
Cervical cancer screening is used to find abnormal changes in the cells of the cervix that could lead to cancer. Screening includes the PAP test and, for some women, testing for a virus called human papillomavirus (HPV). The American College of Gynecology recommends a PAP test every three years for women ages 21-65. Pap smears are not usually necessary for women under 21 or over 65. If abnormal or unusual cells are discovered during a PAP, the result is considered positive. A positive PAP test does not indicate cervical cancer, but it’s important to speak with your doctor about further testing.
The breast exam
For patients age 19 and above, a yearly clinical breast exam is recommended. Your gynecologist will manually examine your breasts for lumps.
Additionally, women age 40 and above should have a yearly mammogram as well as a clinical breast exam. A prescription will be given to you or sent to your radiologist for your mammogram. During your mammogram, an x-ray image will be taken of each breast, which can help your doctor detect cancer early.
We also recommend that our patients perform regular breast self-examinations at home.
"I really felt the personal attention given to me."-- Edna D.