Women's Wellness Exam
Preventive health is vital for women’s wellness. Most adult women should have a women’s wellness exam annually to monitor their reproductive and overall health. Pap smears, breast exams, pelvic exams and other health management procedures can be performed during the exam. At Primary Care Joliet, we offer women’s wellness exams at our medical centers in Joliet and Wilmington, IL.
Who Needs a Pap Smear?
Pap smears are tests designed to catch cervical cancer in the early stages. The test requires a sample of cells to be taken from the cervix and sent to a lab for testing. A pap smear test will either be negative, meaning no abnormal cells were found, or positive, where abnormal cells are found. A positive test does not mean there is cancer present, but it does mean additional tests may be recommended.
According to most health organizations, women 21 and older should have a pap smear or test every three years until age 65. This will check for any evidence of cancer cells in the cervix. Another test that may be recommended is an HPV test, especially if a pap test comes back positive. This test checks for the human papillomavirus, an STI that can increase the risk of cervix cancer.
Women’s Breast and Pelvic Exams
During a women’s wellness exam, a pap test, breast exam and pelvic exam may be performed. The breast exam is to check for any lumps or abnormalities that may indicate breast cancer. The pelvic exam checks for any abnormalities surrounding the ovaries, fallopian tubes and uterus. This exam can identify possible ovarian cysts, tumors, STIs and other female reproductive conditions.
During a women’s wellness exam, it is a good time to discuss other reproductive concerns. This can include birth control, fertility and STI testing or prevention.
If you have not had a women’s wellness exam in over a year, or a pap test in the last three years, it may be time to schedule your checkup. Contact us at Primary Care Joliet to schedule your next pap test, breast exam or pelvic exam, which can all be performed during your wellness visit. Call our clinic in Joliet or Wilmington, IL, to book your appointment.