Well-woman exams are an essential part of taking care of your health and preventing serious illness, so you should be attending exams regularly. The highly experienced health care team at Lagniappe Medical Clinic, with offices in Columbia, Blythewood, and West Columbia, South Carolina, carries out comprehensive well-woman exams with care and compassion, ensuring you stay in the best of health with minimal inconvenience. Call the clinic today to schedule a well-woman exam, or book an appointment online.
A well-woman exam is a routine consultation with your doctor during which they review your overall health and carry out a pelvic exam to check your reproductive organs. Your well-woman exam is also the time when you get a Pap smear to check for signs of cervical cancer. Areas covered during the well-woman exam include:
You may also need vaccinations, such as human papillomavirus (HPV) or flu.
Most women should have an annual well-woman exam, but if you have any pre-existing health conditions, your doctor may recommend you have a well-woman exam more frequently.
Women between the ages of 21 and 65 should have a Pap smear every three years, unless a previous Pap smear result showed changes in the cervical cells, in which case, your doctor can advise how often you need testing in future.
The doctors at Lagniappe Medical Clinic start your well-woman exam by going over your medical history and having a chat with you about your current health and any concerns you have. They carry out checks of your vital signs, including blood pressure, temperature, heart rate, breathing, and reflexes, and conduct an internal pelvic exam.
During the pelvic exam, you lay back while your doctor inserts a speculum, an instrument that holds the walls of your vagina apart. They can then feel for any abnormalities, and take a sample of cells from your cervix, called a Pap smear. The cells go to the lab where they’re examined to look for any changes that could indicate the early stages of cervical cancer. Your doctor also examines your breasts to check for lumps.
If you have any ongoing medical problems, your doctor also carries out checks and orders any tests they need to monitor the progress of your condition, such as thyroid function tests or blood sugar measurements.
The well-woman exam is also an opportunity for you to raise any issues that are causing concern, for instance, relationship problems, the effects of aging, or emotional difficulties.
If you’re due for a well-woman exam, call Lagniappe Medical Clinic today, or book an appointment online.