Do you already see your primary care physician regularly for physicals? If so, you may feel like seeing someone specifically for your reproductive health is unnecessary. Here’s why that’s not the case.
While seeing someone for your general health is still important, seeing a women’s health specialist is equally important. There’s plenty of overlap between an annual physical and a well-woman exam. However, there are enough differences to warrant a visit to both.
At the Center for Women’s Health Richmond in Sugar Land and Richmond, Texas, our team of women’s healthcare providers wants you to understand more about well-woman exams and why they’re such an integral part of your healthcare plan.
Defining well-woman exams
When you go in for a regular wellness exam at your primary care physician’s office, they’re going to check a wide variety of things that affect your health. This includes checking your vitals and examining your heart, lungs, heart, and skin.
Annual physicals can sometimes include a pelvic or breast exam, but it’s not the main focus of the visit.
During well-woman exams, women’s health specialists like the one at the Center for Women’s Health Richmond take a very close look at things that affect your health as a woman.
- Contraception options
- Emotional well-being
- Sexual health
- Hormones and fertility
- Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs)
- Menstruation concerns
- Relationship or family issues
We can also screen for things such as uterine fibroids or polyps, human papillomavirus (HPV), polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), and cervical cancer that require early detection for best treatment.
Who can benefit from a well-woman exam?
All women should be seeing women’s health specialists every year. But, make sure to see us sooner if you’re pregnant, having irregular periods, or dealing with urination issues.
These annual visits can begin as early as adolescence. Teenage girls don’t need pelvic exams or Pap smears, but it does give us the chance to build rapport before those tests become necessary.
Adult women, on the other hand, can benefit from yearly exams to detect any issues before they become hazardous to their health. Plus, it allows you to bring up any concerns you’ve had over the past year or make some changes to your contraception choice.
If you aren’t seeing someone for your reproductive health, we highly recommend starting. To schedule an appointment with our expert team, call your nearest office location or use our online booking tool today.