5 Reasons Why Your Annual Well-Woman Exam From Your OB/GYN is So Important
March 12, 2015
I’m perfectly healthy and I never miss a period (or: I’ve already gone through menopause…) so why do I have to see my OBGYN every single year?
This is a common statement or query from healthy and fit women of all ages, and we understand. It can seem counterintuitive to sit in a doctor’s office when you feel perfectly well in order to have an exam that confirms you are perfectly well. However, your annual OB/GYN exam – also called a well-woman visit – is about so much more than giving you a clean bill of health.
5 Reasons Why Your Annual Well-Woman Exam from Your OB/GYN is So Important
Your well-woman exam includes several layers of care; it involves relationship building with your OB/GYN and her staff, education and knowledge about your body and reproductive health throughout different life stages, and then there are the everyday (and more unusual) questions that you can rely on your doctor to answer.
The following are 5 reasons why observing your annual well-woman checkup is so important:
- It’s your chance to bond. You should have a trusting relationship with all of your doctors, but it’s especially important to feel comfortable with your OB/GYN. Many of the most common conditions that affect female health, including HPV, breast cancer and cervical cancer, can exist in your body without any symptoms or signs. Your annual visits will keep your doctor abreast of your body and any changes that may indicate that something is not quite right. Without routine breast and pelvic exams, conversations about your lifestyle habits and sex life and your pap smear every three years, you run the risk of not catching a small issue before it becomes a big deal. Plus, the more you have developed a positive relationship with your OB/GYN through the years, the more comfortable you will feel if and when you require further treatment, are ready to have a baby or go through other significant life changes.
- Your questions will be answered thoughtfully and completely. The internet is a wonderful resource but it’s also full of conflicting information. At your well-woman visits, you’ll be able to ask any questions you like, or share any information you feel you need to, in a caring, compassionate and strictly confidential environment. We’ll make sure you get the straight and informative answers that will empower you to make the best decisions for yourself and your health.
- Be on the forefront of modern medical science. The rapid evolution of technology has changed the medical playing field, from diagnostic tests and treatments to new innovations in contraception and permanent birth control options. Visiting your OB/GYN every year means you’ll be on the forefront of these innovations as well, with more options to choose from when it comes to your body and your reproductive options and choices.
- Get up-to-date on health screenings and vaccinations. At your well-woman checkups, you’ll have the option to be screened for a variety of health conditions depending on your age, family medical history and lifestyle habits. This includes screening for sexually transmitted diseases, which is highly recommended for anyone who has sex outside of a monogamous relationship. Even if you were tested last year and always use condoms, it’s still a good idea to be screened “just in case.” This also includes colon cancer screening after age 50. You will also have the opportunity to catch up on any vaccinations that you missed as a child, or that may not have been available when you were young.
- You’ll know you and your baby are in good hands. Forming a relationship with an OB/GYN now means you will feel 100% comfortable when you are pregnant and ready to make the switch from preventative care to prenatal care and your labor and delivery. While you can always be on the lookout for a great doctor after you see the “+” sign on the pregnancy test stick, it’s best to have an established relationship with a doctor who you love and trust.
Looking for an OB/GYN with whom you can feel 100% comfortable and trust to provide high-quality healthcare at every stage of your life? Schedule a consultation with Women’s Health Associates. We look forward to a long and prosperous relationship.