Have you had your yearly well woman exam yet? If you’re 21 (and/or sexually active), it’s recommended that you start receiving an annual well woman exam with a gynecologist or other medical provider. If you can start these visits in your late teens in order to set a guideline for your health, even better.
But what IS a well woman exam? If you’ve never had one before, a well woman exam (also known as a wellness visit, or a well woman visit) is a medical examination that serves as a yearly checkup of your reproductive and sexual health.
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends the first gynecology visit between the ages of 13-15. Young women generally do not need a full exam at that time, but it is a good opportunity to discuss periods, what to expect, how to manage symptoms of periods and PMS, and more.
As young women get older, the conversation may shift to contraception, healthy relationships, and general health. Pap smears don’t generally start until the age of 21, but young women are still encouraged to come to discuss heavy periods, painful periods, irregular periods, and contraception.
Here’s what you can expect when you make an appointment for your well woman exam at Copperstate OB/Gyn.
Your Well Woman Exam at Copperstate
Every well woman exam can be a little different, but here’s what’s considered “standard” when you come into Copperstate OB/Gyn for your well woman visit.
Our medical providers will:
- Measure your current height and weight
- Take your blood pressure
- Listen to your back and chest using a stethoscope
They will also ask you questions (including but not limited to):
- When was your last period?
- How often do you have periods?
- Are you sexually active?
- Any prior surgeries?
- Do you use birth control?
These questions are not asked invasively or judgmentally; many of the answers to these affect your sexual and reproductive health, so it’s important to be honest to receive the best care possible.
Our medical providers will also:
- Perform a breast examination
- Perform a pelvic examination
- Take a pap smear if one is due
- Counsel you on your options for birth control
- Discuss options for STD testing
- Allow time for questions or concerns you may have about your sexual or reproductive health, menstrual cycles, and more.
Another key element to these visits is building a trusting relationship with your OB/Gyn and other medical providers. They are there to help you stay healthy and ensure you’re receiving the care you need.
While not all well woman exams are the same, the goal is to make sure you’re taken care of.
Don’t skip out on your annual well woman exam. It’s an important part of caring for your health, now and in the long-term. If you’re due for a visit, make an appointment at Copperstate OB/Gyn today.
Information in this blog post is for educational purposes only and should not be considered medical advice. Always consult a medical professional to discuss your individual medical situation.