What Age Should Women Begin Having Well-Woman Exams?
A well-woman exam is a comprehensive checkup that assesses a woman’s overall health in Plano, TX. This is an important part of preventive care for women of all ages as it screens for cancer and gynecological diseases. At Nest Family Medicine, board-certified physician Dr. Priti Ranjan recommends women in their mid-teens have their first well-woman exams, and those over 21 have one annually. This depends on the patient’s lifestyle and medical history. This visit is important as it gives the patient time to discuss preventive and sexually transmitted disease screening.
What is included in an annual well-woman exam?
When you schedule a well-woman exam at Nest Family Medicine, Dr. Ranjan will perform different steps of your exam, including:
Breast exam: This looks for abnormal tissue, discharges, or any lumps.
Pelvic exam: This scans for any abnormalities on the labia, vulva, vagina, cervix, uterus, ovaries, or pelvis.
Pap smear: This cervical cancer screening isn’t always done at every exam but is an important preventive tool for women’s wellness.
Birth control: For those interested in birth control, Dr. Ranjan can give suggestions for the best options for your sexual health.
STD testing: This is optional and helps screen for potential STD exposure.
Vaccinations: Some women may opt to have the HPV vaccine.
Ultimately, it’s important to build a strong relationship with your doctor. This makes it easier to talk about any concerns you have or any symptoms you may be experiencing. This can include spotting between periods, painful sex, or discharge. The more honest you are, the better care you’ll get at Nest Family Medicine.
Will I need to have tests?
Dr. Ranjan may recommend tests if you have abnormal symptoms. For those that are sexually active with multiple partners, she will recommend STD testing. After you turn 21, you will begin to have PAP tests. Mammograms will start around 35 – 40, depending on your family history and possible risk factors.
What to expect after your well-woman exam
Once the physical part of your exam is over, Dr. Ranjan will take the time to answer any questions you have about your sexual health, birth control, and family planning. Depending on the results of your wellness exam and any lab work or screenings, she will create a custom treatment plan or even suggest lifestyle changes. She recommends going on a day you don’t have your period or at least when it’s light, unless it’s a bleeding problem that you’re visiting her for. Also, make a list of questions to ask her before your well-woman exam in Plano, TX.
Prioritize your sexual health with an annual well-woman exam
At Nest Family Medicine, we guide our female patients through their health journey and answer questions every step of the way. We understand that it can be uncomfortable having these tests or screenings, but they are important to your overall and future health. Our goal is to make you as comfortable as possible and to focus on safe, effective preventive care. To schedule a well-woman exam with Dr. Priti Ranjan, call our Plano, TX, office today. We accept many different insurance plans and Medicare.