Well-woman exams form the foundation of your health as a woman, and you should never overlook them. It is essential to work with medical experts like the well woman exam San Antonio specialists to ensure you live as healthy a life as possible. Generally, every female should start their well-woman examination as they turn 21 or whenever they become sexually active. But you can also seek a well-woman exam appointment if you are experiencing health problems within your reproductive system. Understanding what the exam entails is crucial in preparing you psychologically. Here is more information for you.
What You Can Expect for Your First Appointment
If you are going for your first well-woman exam, it is normal to feel anxious. But take it easy. The appointment will begin just like any other consultation appointment with your doctor. Your doctor might ask you some questions about your family history and your medical history, including any medications or treatments you might be currently undertaking. They can also ask if you are sexually active, take your general demographic information, and ask about your menstrual cycle. They can also ask you any other relevant question they find necessary concerning your reproductive health.
The Four Parts of Well Woman Exam
When your doctor has asked you enough questions and has corrected adequate information about your health, you will change into a dressing gown to proceed to the next level of the examination. This includes:
1. A Physical Exam
The physical exam you get during the well-woman visit is not much different from your annual physical exam. It involves your doctor reviewing your medical history and assessing any current symptoms you might be having. Your provider will check vital signs and examine your reflexes, abdomen, neck, head, lungs, and heartbeat. Sometimes blood work can be necessary, or you can be required to give a urine sample for testing.
2. Breast Examination
Your doctor can also examine your breast during your well-woman exam. Although it is essential for everyone, a breast exam is vital if your chances of getting breast cancer are high, maybe from your family history or other factors. Your doctor will feel your breasts to check for lumps or other irregularities. Most importantly, they will teach you how to examine your breast yourself to do it at home more regularly.
3. Pelvic Examination
This is an essential part of your well-woman exam as it can help you detect early stages of cancer, inflammation causes, and sexually transmitted diseases. You will be required to lie on a table to allow your doctor to examine your vagina. They will examine the outside of the organ to check for irritation, discharge, redness, and any other sign of health complications. Also, they will examine your internal organs like the cervix, uterus, ovaries, and vagina to understand their size and position. This will be achieved by inserting fingers through your vagina as another hand presses your abdomen down from the outside.
4. Pap Smear
When your doctor suspects you are at higher risk of cervical cancer, they will perform a pap smear during your well-woman exam. This will involve getting a tissue sample of your cervix for testing. Your doctor uses a spatula and a speculum to attain the sample successfully.
Most tests in the well-woman examinations should be done at least once every year. But you can also go for a checkup when you experience menstrual irregularities or other health complications. Get in touch with the well-woman exam specialists.