Attending an annual well woman exam is an essential part of your to-do list, but some women choose to skip their yearly appointment, believing that without symptoms, questions or concerns, there is no need to see their gynecologist. This is a misconception and demonstrates a misunderstanding of the purpose that annual well woman exams serve.
Your annual exam at PGOMG is designed around preventive healthcare. Any issues, symptoms, questions or concerns should be addressed with your provider in an appointment separate from the exam. Because annual exams are for preventive health care, they offer unique benefits all women should take advantage of, five of which we’ve highlighted below.
- Cervical cancer prevention – A pap test/pap smear is performed during annual exams at PGOMG. Pap tests screen for abnormalities, including cancerous tissue, precancerous tissue and the human papillomavirus (HPV), of which one strain is linked to cervical cancer.
- Professional breast exam – Women should do their own breast exams regularly, but having your provider perform an exam is an important yearly occurrence. Breast exams screen for changes that could indicate an underlying health issue.
- Checking in with your provider – This is the time to check in with your provider about any lifestyle changes that have occurred in the past year. Your provider will determine whether an additional appointment is necessary. Common lifestyle changes/future planning that patients discuss during annual exams include family planning goals and a desire to start or change birth control.
- Opportunity to ask questions – Almost every woman has at least one question relevant to her PGOMG provider that she may have been saving. Asking questions in person can seem embarrassing, but please remember that your question has probably already been asked by countless patients before you and that it is always important to be proactive when it comes to your health.
- Exams remove worry and stress – Having an annual exam completed for the year is a milestone that provides stress relief for many patients. Knowing that your doctor provided preventive health care, and having any test results in hand, can go a long way toward confidence in your health and body.
Is it time to schedule your annual exam with PGOMG? You can request an appointment online or call our office today: 415-923-3123.