The purpose of an annual Well Woman exam is to detect and treat any new or ongoing health problems, as well as to help prevent future ones from developing. Even if you’re not due for a Pap test, it’s still important to visit your doctor yearly for a comprehensive Well Woman exam. The standard components of a Well Woman exam include assessments of:
- Current health status
- Nutrition practices
- Physical activity
- Sexual practices
- Tobacco, alcohol, and drug use
Across age groups, the exam also includes height, weight, body mass index (BMI) and blood pressure. Annual breast and abdominal exams begin at age 19.
The American Congress of Obstetrics and Gynecology currently recommends Pap screenings starting at age 21, every two years for most women under age 30, and every three years for women 30 and older who have three negative prior screenings and cessation of cervical cancer screening at age 65 or 70, depending on a woman’s screening history.
Women may be worried that less frequent screening is detrimental to their overall healthcare needs, but this isn’t the case. Over-screening can lead to unnecessary
treatment and could contribute to negative outcomes, such as preterm birth or having
low-birth-weight infants in the future.
Some women may have certain high-risk factors or conditions that may require additional or more frequent tests and interventions. For instance, it is recommend that women
have their first mammogram at age 40 and yearly beginning at 50, but a woman and
her doctor may decide to have a baseline mammogram before age 40 if there is a
family history of breast cancer.
Schedule your Well Woman exam today
Well Woman exams are a routine part of a woman’s health care and are covered buy nearly every insurance provider. We offer these exams at any of our family medicine or internal medicine clinics, and the Fort HealthCare Center for Women’s Health. Visit FortHealthCare.com/FindADoctor to find a physician that’s right for you.