Once a year, it is highly recommended that women attend an annual exam with their gynecologist. Of course, spending time at a doctor’s office might not be your favorite to-do list item, but there is a reason why medical professionals deem it necessary. Annual exams, or annual well-woman exams, are used as preventative care. They cover both gynecological health and breast health, and serve as an opportunity to connect with your doctor.
Why do annual exams matter?
So, what happens if you skip your annual exam? Basically, you’re missing out on an important opportunity. Annual exams check for gynecological abnormalities and include a Pap smear/test that screens for cancerous and precancerous occurrences as well as other abnormalities. A breast exam is also part of the appointment, looking for changes, bumps, and lumps that may require additional screening.
Annual exams also provide a chance for you to speak with your doctor one-on-one. This is the time to voice any concerns you may have. Perhaps you’re unhappy with your current form of birth control and would like a chance, or maybe you’d like to start birth control. Perhaps you’ve noticed a change in your libido or maybe have experienced a recent yeast infection or UTI. Regardless of your concern, these appointments serve as a vehicle to keep your doctor in the loop and, if needed, an additional visit can be scheduled.
How can I book my next annual exam?
You’ll have an opportunity to schedule your next annual exam after attending one. However, if you do not have one booked currently, you can request an appointment online or call our office directly at 415-923-3123.
What if I’m nervous to attend my exam?
It’s understandable for women to be nervous about attending a well-woman exam, even if you’ve attended one previously or haven’t in awhile. The doctors of PGOMG are well-trained in every aspect of the exam especially in regard to ensuring patient comfort throughout the visit. If you should ever have any questions or hesitation ahead of your visit, please feel free to contact our staff directly.
Additionally, we’ve prepared several information guides that address common questions about annual exams: