At PGOMG, we hear many reasons why women delay scheduling their annual well-woman exams. Screenings conducted at an annual well-woman exam are the first step in preventative care, allowing providers a chance to effectively catch a potential health concern before it escalates into a serious or chronic problem.
Despite these benefits, the well-woman exam is often skipped for a multitude of reasons – and none of these reasons are as important as it is to care for your long-term health.
1. “There’s nothing wrong.”
As noted above, well-woman exam visits to PGOMG are essential for preventative care. These exams are an opportunity to discover potential health concerns before symptoms surface. A vaginal exam, breast exam, and Pap test offer a wealth of knowledge that is not otherwise discovered, even with a proper self-exam.
2. “I don’t have anything to discuss.”
Changes to your current lifestyle, including sexual activity, are important to note to your provider, but exams shouldn’t be skipped because you have nothing new to report. Women in long-term, monogamous relationships with healthy lifestyles still need to attend annual exams with their gynecologist.
3. “I dread the experience.”
We understand that aspects of the annual exam are deeply personal and private, and that for some, vaginal and breast exams are potentially stressful experiences, even with compassionate care. We encourage patients to discuss concerns with their provider prior to the appointment or before the appointment begins. Your PGOMG provider can help explain every step of the exam and proceed with your comfort level in mind to the best of their ability.
4. “I don’t have time.”
PGOMG offers appointments are early as 7:30 a.m. in order to accommodate women with busy work or school demands. We understand that your time is important to you, and we try our best to accommodate patient scheduling.
5. “I’ll visit when I need contraception, but not before.”
Despite the common misconception, annual well-woman exams are not used to discuss birth control. A separate appointment with your provider is required for discussions related to changing birth control. Annual exams offer necessary health screenings, regardless of your current contraception of choice.