WELL WOMAN EXAMS
Having a routine well-woman exam is part of your overall preventive health plan. The caring team of women’s health specialists at Susquehanna OB/GYN and Nurse-Midwifery in Bel Air and Havre de Grace, Maryland, offer flexible scheduling if you’re due for a well-woman visit. Whether you need to talk about birth control, are experiencing pelvic pain, or haven’t had a physical in a while, your well-woman exam is your one-on-one time with your OB/GYN to discuss all your health concerns. You can book your exam by using the online scheduling feature, or by calling our Bel Air or Havre de Grace office.
What happens during a well-woman exam?
Your well-woman exam is unique to you and your needs. After having a discussion about your previous medical history and family medical history, your visit can include:
- Breast exam
- Pelvic exam
- Pap smear
- STD testing
If you need to start birth control or have questions about changing to another formulary, your practitioner can help you with your family planning options, too.
When should I have a well-woman exam?
Generally, you should start scheduling well-woman exams around the onset of your first period. This appointment doesn’t necessarily mean that you need a pelvic exam or Pap smear during this time. Instead, it’s just an exam to evaluate your overall health and possibly discuss plans for birth control.
Starting with your teens and throughout your childbearing years, you should have a well-woman exam every year — even if you’re generally healthy. By having an abnormal Pap test, experiencing irregular bleeding, or having unexplainable pelvic pain, you might need more frequent visits.
Once you reach age 65 and have had at least three consecutive negative Pap tests, or if you’ve had a hysterectomy, you probably won’t need Pap smear testing any longer.
You still need to schedule well-woman exams though, to check for early warning signs of breast cancer and other chronic conditions that affect women.
How do I prepare for a well-woman exam?
Because a well-woman exam is a routine visit, you generally don’t need to do anything in particular to prepare. It can be helpful to bring your previous medical records with you, especially if you’ve had prior gynecological issues or pregnancies. This way, your practitioner at Susquehanna OB/GYN and Nurse Midwifery can better understand your health.
If you need blood testing or a urinalysis during your visit, you might have to fast beforehand, depending on your screening needs. The team can let you know if this applies to you when booking your exam. Many women find it helpful to bring in a list of questions or concerns, so they don’t forget to get the information they need during their well-woman exam.
Call our Bel Air or Havre de Grace office at Susquehanna OB/GYN and Nurse Midwifery to book your well-woman exam. You can also use the clinic’s convenient online scheduling system.