An annual well woman exam with PGOMG should be an essential part of a woman’s overall health regimen each year. Annual exams are often the only opportunity your gynecologist has to check your gynecological, sexual and reproductive health.
Many patients put off scheduling an annual well woman exam, reasoning that the visit may be awkward or uncomfortable, that it isn’t so important and can wait another year, or because they’ve had a poor experience with a previous provider.
At PGOMG, we’ve designed an annual well woman exam around your comfort. We encourage patients to be open and ask any questions they may have about their health. In order to get you started, especially if this is your first visit to our offices, we suggest three important questions for you to ask during your annual well woman exam.
1. What screenings should I have during this visit?
Several factors determine which type of screenings you will have during your visit with PGOMG. An annual well woman exam will often feature a Pap smear (Pap test), which screens for cervical cancer. Testing for STDs can also take place if the patient voices a concern that she may have had unprotected sexual contact with someone who might have an STD. Your provider will also perform a breast exam. Additional testing may be needed if any abnormalities are discovered during the initial exam.
2. My period is irregular/painful/very heavy – is this unusual?
Many women are simply used to putting up with their period and are surprised to learn that severe menstrual pain and bleeding are actually treatable. Women are also encouraged to tell their physician if their period is irregular. Heavy bleeding, severe pain and irregular periods can be indicative of a more serious underlying condition, so it’s important to let your provider know if issues exist.
3. What can I do for my gynecological health until my next well woman exam?
There are many steps you can take between annual visits to PGOMG, some of which include:
- Only engage in safe, protected sexual intercourse (any birth control method other than a condom does not prevent the spread of STDs).
- If you believe you have been exposed to an STD, call PGOMG immediately to schedule an exam/testing – do not wait until your next visit.
- Perform routine self-breast exams.
- Monitor your menstrual cycle and take note of any changes that may occur – change in discomfort or pain, change in flow, irregularity.
Your PGOMG provider will be able to elaborate further on steps you can take between annual well woman exams.