Your annual well-woman exam is more important to your overall health than you may realize.
It’s easy to get busy and forget to make an appointment for your annual checkup with your gynecologist. That reminder notice on the fridge doesn’t make the call for you, after all, and looking at it every day doesn’t guarantee that the thought won’t fly out of your head the second you walk out the door. Making and keeping that appointment, however, no matter how busy you are, is one of the best things you can do for your health.
Your annual exam is important not only for your preventive health and wellness, but because it is an opportunity for you to reassure yourself that your body is working as it should. Your provider will be able to counsel you on any matters that could be worrying you and provide details about maintaining a healthy lifestyle and managing any individual risk factors.
Components of your annual exam include:
- Physical exam. Your physical exam essentially takes stock of your overall health and assesses matters such as your weight, body mass index, blood pressure and other related factors.
- Pelvic exam. Pelvic exams are recommended beginning at age 21 or at the onset of sexual activity, and Pap smears are recommended every three years until age 65, unless otherwise indicated.