Preventive health care is important for everyone. The goal is to visit your doctor for regular checkups to ensure you remain healthy versus waiting to get sick to seek medical care. For women, gender-specific health concerns should be monitored during routine checkups, often called an annual, well-woman or women’s wellness exams. Do you know how often you should have a well-woman exam and what tests are usually performed?
Well-woman exams are often called annual exams, as they should be performed once a year. While routine wellness exams are performed on all genders, a women’s wellness exam usually focuses on reproductive health and specific female health concerns. While they are called “woman” exams, they actually should begin in the teenage years. Teen females can start having their first annual exams for reproductive health when they hit puberty.
What Is Included in a Well-Woman Exam?
Every woman and wellness exam is different. This is because there are different concerns at different times during a woman’s life. A post-menopausal woman has very different reproductive health concerns than a young woman who is either trying or not trying to get pregnant. At Primary Care Joliet, we personalize every woman’s wellness exam to the patient, which may include the following:
- Pelvic exam
- Pap smear
- Sexually transmitted disease/infection testing or screening
- Breast exam
- Vaccinations (HPV)
- Birth control discussion/implementation
- Urine testing (kidney function, pregnancy concerns)
- Fertility discussions
- Hormone testing for fluctuations/menopause concerns
Each woman’s wellness exam may be different. Some tests, like pap smears, only need to be performed every three to five years and may not be necessary for post-menopausal women. Our well-woman exam physicians will tailor the exam to meet your specific reproductive concerns, whether it is STI screening and birth control options or preparing for menopause or pregnancy.
At Primary Care Joliet, we welcome new patients and accept many health insurance plans that cover preventive health care, such as well-woman exams. If it has been over a year since your last women’s wellness exam, contact our team to schedule your appointment. Call our office in Joliet or Wilmington, IL, to book your next visit to our medical center.
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