Well Woman Care
Your annual well woman appointment (also known as a routine or annual gynecological exam) is one of the most important steps you can take to protect your health and well-being. Women should schedule this exam yearly starting at age 18 or when they become sexually active. Your annual well woman exam typically includes the following:
- Breast Exam: An annual breast exam will help detect breast cancer at its earliest, most treatable stage. This is a good time to point out any changes in your breast, such as asymmetry, lumps, or nipple discharge, and discuss any concerns you may have. Physician will refer you for a mammogram depending on your age or to further examine breast masses.
- Pelvic Exam: During a pelvic exam, your physician will examine your internal and external reproductive organs to check for any abnormalities, tenderness or pain — which might mean infection or another condition. A Pap smear will be conducted at this time and a test for the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) may be ordered.
- Additional Testing: Your doctor may order additional testing depending on factors such as your age, risk factors and the findings of your physical exam. Testing may include a bone density scan, blood work or a test for Human Papilloma Virus (HPV).
The obstetricians and gynecologists at Women’s Health Specialists of CentraState take pride in treating the whole woman —mind, body, and spirit—by listening to and understanding both your physical and emotional needs. We encourage an open and honest dialogue with our patients; no question is too basic or too intimate. Your well woman exam is a good time to discuss a variety of issues or concerns, including:
- Pre-Menstrual Syndrome (PMS): Most women have discomfort before and during their menstrual periods. It’s when these symptoms disrupt your daily life that we call it PMS. PMS causes a variety of symptoms, including mood swings, tender breasts, food cravings, lack of energy, headaches, cramps, low back pain, irritability, and depression. The good news is treatments and lifestyle adjustments can help reduce or manage your symptoms.
- Heavy or Irregular Bleeding: Heavy or irregular bleeding can have many causes. Keeping track of your menstrual cycle and discussing any changes to your cycle can help your doctor determine whether additional testing is needed. Download CentraState’s free period tracking app OvuKnow to have all the info you need at your fingertips at your next exam.
- HPV Immunizations: The human papillomavirus (HPV) is a type of sexually transmitted infection that can cause genital warts or cervical cancer. The HPV vaccine can reduce your risk of developing an infection and abnormal cells on the cervix that can lead to cancer. The vaccine is recommended for girls and women age 11 through 26.
- Birth Control: There are a variety of birth control methods available today, including pills, patches, injections, and longer-acting solutions. We can talk about which options will work best for your lifestyle and family planning goals.
- Sexual Health: Sexuality is a big part of being human. Love, affection, and sexual intimacy all play a role in healthy relationships. Several disorders can affect your ability to have or enjoy sex. Our providers have extensive training in counseling women about sexual health issues.
- Body Image: Body image is the perception that you have of your physical self and the thoughts and feelings that result from that perception. Your body image may be positive, negative, or both, and these feelings are likely shaped by personal and societal factors. As women, our bodies change throughout our lives. Our physicians will take the time to listen to your concerns and individualize your care to maximize your health and mental well-being.
- Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs): STDs are infections that are passed from one person to another during sex. STDs can be dangerous, and many people who have them don’t have any symptoms. The good news is that getting tested is a simple process, and most STDs are easy to treat. Our compassionate providers will discuss your symptoms, test results and treatment options discretely.