Why You Should Never Skip Your Annual Gynecological Exam
There has been some confusion over whether or not the annual gynecological exam is necessary.
This comes on the heels of the recent change in recommendation where women do not need yearly Pap smears.
However, there is so much more that happens during your annual visit other than the Pap smear that is necessary to ensure your continued gynecological health.
What Is Covered in an Annual Gynecological Exam?
During your annual gynecological exam, your provider is uniquely trained to evaluate your ever-changing healthcare needs.
Below are just a few of the areas your provider is able to discuss with you:
- STI screening and prevention
- Birth control
- Infections, pelvic pain, or bloating
- Sexual function concerns
- Fertility and pregnancy planning
- Bone health
- Breast health
- Missed periods
- Vaginal discharge
Additionally, there are many conditions such as HPV, cervical, or breast cancer that may not present any symptoms and are often screened during your annual visit.
What Happens During Your Visit?
Most gynecological visits will begin with an accounting of your personal and familial medical history and basic vitals are taken (weight, height, heart rate, etc.)
You will likely discuss any current concerns or historical issues.
Lastly, your provider will perform an external and internal examination of your vulva, cervix, uterus, and ovaries.
When to Start Your Exams
Many providers recommend annual gynecological visits begin around age 13 to 15.
Pelvic exams including the Pap smear are recommended to being at age 21, regardless of sexual activity.
Many different screening tests can be performed in order to ensure your overall health.
These tests include:
- Hepatitis C
- Pap smear
- Breast exam
- Bone density
If you are interested in scheduling a gynecological exam you need a provider you can trust.
For all of your gynecological needs, contact Dr. S. Nicky Singh today at (703)359-4842.