Do you find our website to be helpful?
Yes   No

Why It’s Important to Come In For Your Annual Exam

Why It’s Important to Come In For Your Annual Exam

For some women, it is not necessary to get a Pap smear every year, but for others it is, so it is important to talk to your OBGYN about your individual situation regarding how often you should get a Pap smear. 

Annual exams are still very important, even if you don’t get a Pap smear every year for a number of reasons which will be discussed below. Your annual exam checks on many more aspects of your health and getting checked out on a yearly basis is key to maintaining your wellness and catching any potential problems before they occur. Dr. Alan Patterson explains more about why you should make your annual exams a high priority.

Screen for diseases

Although the Pap smear screens for cervical abnormalities that may become cancerous, that’s not the only disease we test for during an annual exam.

During an annual exam, you can also screen for the two most common types of sexually transmitted diseases, gonorrhea and chlamydia, which can be run off of your Pap smear. Also, we also check your breasts for any abnormal growths or signs of cancerous changes that might not yet be detectable by you, and your OBGYN can teach you how to do a self breast examination if you do not know how or when to do it. It is adviseable to do a self breast examination each month after your period is over. 

We also get an opportunity to meet with you and discuss any new symptoms that may have developed over the course of the past year. When taken alone, you might think that a random new symptom might not be a big deal. But if you mention it to the doctor, sometimes a new symptom can be a sign of a disease that requires more testing.

Bimanual exam

Besides doing your Pap smear and breast exam, your OBGYN will do a bimanual exam to make sure you do not have any ovarian cysts, or uterus abnormalities such as fibroids. Also, if you are age 50 or over, you have the option of getting a rectal exam and getting yours stool checked which rules out an abnormality such as colon cancer. 

Discuss birth control

You may have chosen a method of birth control during a previous visit, but for whatever reason, it’s not working as well for you anymore. Maybe it’s that your schedule has become too busy to remember to take a pill every day or perhaps the side effects of a previous form of birth control have become gradually harder to tolerate.

Checking in once a year about whether or not your birth control method is still working is important. You want to be happy about your contraceptive method, not settling for less. If there’s anything about your birth control that you don’t like, talk to Dr. Patterson. You have lots of available options and a different one might work better for you.

Having an annual OBGYN exam is an important part of maintaining your overall health and wellness. Contact Dr. Alan Patterson today or request an appointment online. Almost every major insurance covers one annual exam with no copay to the patient, so Dr. Patterson feels it is important for you to take advantage of this fact and see him for your annual exam once a year. 

You Might Also Enjoy...

Encouraging Facts About Breast Cancer

Cancer is a word that causes a host of bad emotions and feelings. Getting diagnosed with breast cancer may feel scary, but you have several reasons to maintain hope. Here are some encouraging facts about breast cancer treatments and more.

What Happens at a Mammogram?

Certain scans are important for female health. If you’ve never had a mammogram, you may feel scared. But you don’t have to feel worried. Learn more about what happens at a mammogram.

What Should I Do If I Have Abnormal Bleeding?

Abnormal bleeding is a relatively common problem for women, but it always warrants further exploration. Learn more about the possible causes of abnormal bleeding and when you may need medical treatment.

Do Female Condoms Really Work?

If you’re looking for contraceptive alternatives, you might wonder if the female condom is a viable option. Learn more about the effectiveness of female condoms and if this form of contraceptive is right for you.