The annual well-woman exam is a critical component of preventive care
Our Austin obgyns urge women to schedule a well-woman exam every year. This appointment is an essential part of a woman’s preventive healthcare plan. Seeing our Austin physicians and Austin advanced practice providers annually helps detect problems in the early stages when they are most treatable. It is also a good time for patients to ask questions and address issues such as birth control options and infertility.
What happens during a typical well-woman exam?
The well-woman exam covers several issues and health concerns. Every appointment begins with a discussion of a woman’s medical and family history, as well as any new updates that occurred during the past year. After the staff measures height, weight and blood pressure, our physicians perform a physical examination. Typically, this visit includes a pelvic examination, a breast exam and any necessary health screenings.
Every well-woman exam is tailored to the individual’s needs, and our physicians always let the patient know that she is in charge of her care. This means that she can decline any exam at any time if she is not comfortable with it. For example, some women may not want a pelvic or breast exam at their first visit, so it’s fine to talk with our physicians and schedule that part of the exam for another appointment.
This visit gives the patient and doctor time to talk and address questions
Talking with our Austin obgyns is an important component of the well-woman exam. This is the time to ask questions and address general health concerns.
- Mental health issues such as depression and anxiety
- Infertility issues and infertility testing
- Preconception health
- Bone density screening and osteoporosis
- Menstrual problems
- Women’s heart health
- Sexual health
- Weight management
- Birth control options
The annual well-woman exam is the perfect opportunity for patients to have an open dialogue with our physicians.
Is cancer screening addressed at this visit?
Pap smears, the type of cancer screening women usually associate with their annual exam, no longer occurs every year. The new guidelines state that women age 21 to 29 should have a Pap smear every three years, while women age 30 and older should be co-tested every five years. Co-testing involves a Pap smear and a test for the HPV virus.
During the annual well-woman exam, our Austin obgyns will perform a breast exam on most patients and discuss the need for annual screening mammograms with patients 40 and older or younger patients who have certain risk factors for breast cancer.
A yearly meeting with our Austin obgyns is a healthy choice
Our Austin obgyns care about women’s health, at every age and stage. The annual well-woman exam is our chance to connect with patients and take a proactive approach to good health. Contact us for an appointment.