Five Reasons You Shouldn’t Skip Your Annual Well-Woman Exam
Annual well-woman exams are an essential part of maintaining your overall reproductive health, yet many women end up skipping or delaying these checkups, believing them to be unnecessary. In today’s fast-paced world, it’s no wonder these appointments often fall by the wayside.
However, contrary to many women’s beliefs, these exams aren’t just for people experiencing unusual symptoms, trying to get pregnant, or in need of contraception. They offer additional benefits you may not have previously considered or thought of.
Key Benefits of Annual Well-Woman Exams
Wondering why you should take the time to clear space in your busy calendar for these checkups? We’ve outlined five key reasons below.
1. Cervical cancer prevention — Without a Pap smear, also referred to as a Pap test, cervical cancer is notoriously hard to detect in its early stages. Pap tests can detect precancer before it develops into invasive cancer, and can also detect the human papillomavirus (HPV), which can cause cervical cancer and precancerous lesions. Regular Pap smears allow women to stay on top of any potential issues before they become serious problems.
2. Opportunity to ask questions — Even if you’re not experiencing any issues or don’t have any pressing concerns, your annual well-woman exam offers a great chance to discuss any questions or concerns, no matter how big or small. Using this time to get as much information as you can about anything you’ve been wondering about will allow you to make better lifestyle choices and feel more confident day to day.
3. Clinical breast exam — Even though you probably, like many women, conduct self-exams regularly (or should, if you don’t already), it can be tricky to know exactly what to look for and what could be a cause for concern. Having a professional breast exam during an annual checkup allows women to rest assured that they’re staying on top of their health, and provides the opportunity for a refresher on how to best conduct self-examinations.
4. Reproductive health and family planning guidance — Whether you’re planning to have children in the future or already trying to conceive, having access to a specialist can be hugely helpful. At an annual well-woman exam, you’ll have the chance to ask specific questions and address any concerns you may have. On the other hand, if you’re not yet ready or don’t ever want children, your doctor can help you choose the best form of contraception for your specific needs.
5. Age-specific advising and screenings — As women age, their health needs shift. From the first period to reproductive planning to management of menopause symptoms, annual well-woman visits help ensure that you get the care you need, when you need it. Having access to specialized, age-specific, personalized knowledge and care goes a long way toward feeling happy, healthy, and able to tackle whatever comes your way throughout every stage of life.
Schedule Your Annual Well-Woman Visit
Annual well-woman visits are an essential part of maintaining a healthy lifestyle, no matter what stage of life you’re in or what your unique needs may be.
To schedule a well-woman visit and start taking control of your health, set up an appointment with the providers at Pacific Family Practice today.