Here’s Why You Shouldn’t Skip Your Well Woman Exam

While there are drivers who run their cars until every warning light turns on, even they know it’s not good for the long-term mechanical health of the vehicle. The same holds true for your physical health. Maintaining your reproductive health requires attention to potential issues that have few symptoms, but which can be uncovered during your regular well woman exams.

The United States Department of Health and Human Services recommends well woman exams annually. These sessions serve as a way of preventing health issues before they create serious problems. At Southeast Urogyn, we want you to stay healthy. And one way we can help you do that is with well woman exams.

What you can expect from a well woman exam

You’re likely familiar with most aspects of a well woman exam. As with any physical exam, it typically starts with a review of your health history since your last appointment. Young women should have their first well woman exam around age 13.

Vital signs, including weight, height, pulse, and blood pressure are usually recorded every visit. Immunizations may be given, and after age 21, breast exams, Pap tests, and pelvic exams may become part of the visit, though not necessarily every year. Finally, you’ll have a chance to ask questions about your own concerns.

Why well woman exams are important

Being a woman carries unique reproductive health responsibilities. Well woman visits place a priority on these, although all other aspects of your well-being are considered, too. Here are four reasons why it’s important that you not skip your well woman exams, no matter how frantic life gets.

Avoiding cervical cancer

When detected early, cervical cancer is easy to treat. In fact, changes to cells in your cervix can be recognized before becoming cancerous, so you can have this health issue treated before it becomes a problem. Cervical cancer progresses slowly, so regular Pap tests can keep you on top of early detection.

Breast cancer detection

Self-exams are, of course, a key part of breast cancer prevention. Your well woman visit will help make sure you haven’t missed anything. And combining mammograms with this will aid in detecting any issues early.

Changing health care needs

As you mature, your health care requirements will change. Younger women may need immunizations and information about menstruating. Family planning and pregnancy can be the focus of women in their 20s and 30s, while older women may be dealing with the effects of menopause. Your well woman exams will change along with you to help ensure that you’re healthy at all ages.

Education and awareness

No matter what age, your well woman visit is the ideal time to ask questions about your body and health. Your caregiver, too, can raise your awareness of issues that are relevant to you, including new treatments or health risks.

If you want to stay on top of your health, you need a well woman exam. To learn more, call the friendly health specialists at Southeast Urogyn today.

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