A well woman exam is effective in disease prevention and detection, and it’s also an opportunity to ask questions and learn about healthy lifestyle options.
Preparing for the Well Woman Exam
Spending some time before your well woman exam to write down any questions or issues you may have will help ensure you get the most out of your exam. Remember to bring your medical history and any medical records, including a list of current medications.
During the Well Woman Exam
The basic Pap test screening guidelines below are determined by age and gynecological health. Your doctor may recommend a different schedule.
- Health History – On your first visit, you will be asked to fill out forms detailing past illnesses and surgeries, current medications, immunizations, allergies, and family medical history. During subsequent visits, your recent health history will be updated. These questions are helpful in developing your healthcare plan.
- Physical Exam – The physical portion of the exam usually begins with measuring height, weight, blood pressure, and pulse rate. Also, a urine sample and/or blood test may be conducted.
- Breast Exam – Your breasts will be examined for any abnormalities in appearance, such as nipple inversion, rashes, or redness. The breast exam may also include palpating each breast to look for unusual lumps or thickening.
- Pelvic Exam – The pelvic exam consists of palpating the abdomen, checking the inner and outer sex organs and conducting a Pap smear. You may feel some uncomfortable pressure during the exam.
Tell the doctor or staff about are any modesty, religious, or cultural concerns you may have and don’t hesitate to ask questions at any time during the well woman exam.
After the Well Woman Exam
As a result of the well woman exam, a medical condition may be diagnosed, additional tests recommended or medication prescribed. Be sure to talk with your doctor about any questions that may arise as a result.