Women’s health is an area of medical practice focused on addressing the health needs specific to women. Although many of these services focus on the female reproductive system, women’s health also encompasses other health issues, including:
Women’s health visits are often referred to as well-woman exams or womens’ wellness exams, and they should be a part of every woman’s annual health planning.
The components of your exam depend on your age and overall health needs. During the teenage years, these visits focus on issues like puberty, menstruation, and the benefits of getting the HPV vaccine.
Once a woman is sexually active, well-woman exams focus on birth control, preventing sexually transmitted disease, managing stress, and general sexual health issues. Women who are planning to start a family may want to focus on ways to enhance and boost fertility.
Family planning continues to be a focus for women who transition into motherhood. If you experience unusual health changes, screenings can detect the signs of uterine fibroids, endometriosis, gynecologic cancers, and other women’s health concerns.
Regardless of your age, well-woman exams usually include a pelvic exam, Pap smear testing, and a breast exam, as well as a discussion of overall health and wellness matters.
Pap smear testing is the primary means of screening for cervical cancer. This simple test is performed during a pelvic exam and takes little time to complete.
Your practitioner uses a medical brush or spatula to collect a small sample of cells from your uterus. Those cells are sent to a lab and examined under a microscope to search for signs of abnormalities.
Pap smear testing can detect precancerous cell changes that occur in the earliest stages of cervical cancer. This information allows you to take action swiftly, which can stop cervical cancer from developing further.
The vast majority of cervical cancers are caused by human papillomavirus (HPV), so HPV testing might be done in combination with Pap smear testing. Your doctor will advise you on how frequently you need these screenings.
Don’t let your women’s health needs fall to the bottom of your to-do list. Call the office today to schedule a visit, or try the simple online booking option that allows you to schedule any time of day or night.