Getting an annual well-woman exam is one of those things you might feel inclined to put off. It’s not an emergency, so why do you need to make it a priority? Especially when your days are so busy, you might want to postpone it in favor of other things that seem more important.
Getting a well-woman exam is more important than you might think. It is an important way to safeguard your future fertility and your health. Dr. Alan Patterson explains more about the importance of the well-woman exam and how it’s attainable to virtually everyone.
Why the well-woman exam is important
A well-woman exam provides valuable information about your reproductive and overall health. We conduct screenings for several types of cancer, including cervical cancer and breast cancer. These types of cancer are surprisingly more common than you might think, but they’re very treatable when caught early.
Even if you’re not yet looking to conceive a baby and don’t need birth control, you do need to see a gynecologist for routine well-woman exams. We don’t normally perform Pap smears until age 21, but we do need to see you once you’re sexually active. You can also get tested for sexually-transmitted diseases, which is essential for protecting your future fertility. Many STDs are entirely symptomless.
It’s also a great opportunity to check in with the doctor if you need any vaccines. You should establish a relationship with at least one doctor who can monitor your health over time.
Why the exam is affordable
Even if you have insurance, you may worry about co-pays and deductibles. But you don’t need to worry about that because well-woman exams are required to be covered at 100%, like most forms of preventive care.
Dr. Patterson accepts all insurance as payment for the well-woman exam at 100%, so you never need to worry that your screening won’t be covered or that you’ll be stuck with a large bill.
What to expect at a well-woman exam
If you’ve never had a well-woman exam before, you might feel a little nervous.
When you come in for the exam, we’ll take your weight and record your height. This can help us determine if you’re at a healthy weight. We don’t intend to shame anyone about their weight, but we can help you to lose weight if necessary to moderate any risk factors.
You will likely also be asked about the regularity of your menstrual cycles and if they seem normal to you. If they aren’t regular or normal, this could indicate a problem that could require further testing.
You will also be asked about the method of birth control that you’re using, if applicable. This is also a good time for you to express any concerns about your current birth control method and to get a prescription for a different type that might work better for you.
Making an appointment for a well-woman exam is a great opportunity for you to ask Dr. Patterson about any health concerns. Contact his office today or request an appointment online.