It would be best to ensure that as a healthy woman or person with a female reproductive system, you have a regular woman exam once a year by making an appointment with a physician or nurse.
Most importantly, an annual well-woman exam is recommended for maintaining good health and should not be skipped. Think of it this way; it is much simpler and less expensive to practice preventive wellness than administering treatments to restore your health.
So, what is a well-woman exam? When you see your doctor for a well-woman exam, it involves a comprehensive medical exam. It is separate from an appointment with a physician necessary due to an illness or injury. The well-woman visit is geared toward the promotion of women’s health.
In addition, the healthcare provider you choose will likely offer you educational advice to help you make knowledgeable decisions regarding your health.
Further, it will be an opportunity to focus on your overall health and wellness presented at well women’s exam. So, we will learn what not to do before a well-woman exam and what we should do before taking it.
Furthermore, this article will discuss what to expect at a women’s wellness exam, what a well-woman exam includes, and where to get a well-woman exam in Houston, Texas.
What to Expect at a Women’s Wellness Exam
A well-woman exam will begin just like any other visit to the doctor. However, it will include a physical checkup, a pelvic exam, a breast exam, and a pap smear.
You will be asked to complete the paperwork with questions about your family’s medical history. This will include any medications you take and general demographic information. You will also disclose your menstrual cycle, if you’re sexually active, and if you’ve ever been pregnant.
Moreover, a nurse will assess you for height, weight, and blood pressure. They may also ask you questions about the information on your intake forms. Then, they’ll give you a robe and leave the room so you can get changed.
Below are the four parts of a well-woman checkup.
1. Physical Checkup
Having your physical performed simultaneously with your well-woman exam can be more convenient. The physical exam is similar to what your general practitioner would perform during an annual physical.
Further, your gynecologist will examine your medical history and ask if you have any health problems. Your vital signs, heartbeat, lungs, head, neck, abdomen, and reflexes will all be examined. Sometimes they will request a urine sample or blood work.
2. Pelvic Exam
The pelvic exam can help find cancer in its early stages, diseases spread through sexual contact, and any inflammation causes. As part of your pelvic exam, your doctor will ask you to lie down with your legs placed on the leg rests.
Likewise, your gynecologist will look at the outside of your vagina to see if there are any signs of redness, irritation, discharge, or other problems. Then, they will place their fingers into your vagina to examine the size and placement of your ovaries, uterus, cervix, and vagina; while pressing down on your abdomen.
Every year, women over 21 should get a pelvic exam. If you are under 21 and have irregular periods, vaginal discharge, or pelvic pain, you should ask your doctor about a pelvic exam.
3. Breast Exam
Breast exams assist in finding breast cancer’s early warning signs. As part of your breast exam, your gynecologist will check your breasts for lumps or other abnormalities.
Additionally, they will show you how to conduct a
self-examination, which you ought to do once per month.
It is possible to detect the early stages of
cervical cancer with a pap smear. While the
speculum is in place, your gynecologist gently inserts a tiny brush or spatula to scrape a tissue sample from the cervix.
Consequently, you may feel a brief pinching sensation during a pap smear, but this is normal and should not be painful. You are highly encouraged to get a pap smear every two years if you are sexually active or over 21.
What Is Not Allowed Before a Well-Woman Exam
We should know what to do and what not to do before a well-woman exam. To learn about this, we’ll consider the four parts of a well-woman checkup, where certain matters are encouraged and prohibited before the exam.
1. Before Your Pelvic Exam
Tell your doctor or nurse if you’ve never had a pelvic exam when you make your appointment. Schedule your pelvic exam when you are not on your menstrual cycle. However, if you have a problem with your period that worries you, your doctor may suggest that you get checked out while you are on your period.
Further, at least 24 hours before your pelvic exam, you should not have sex, put anything in your vagina, or douche.
2. The 3-Day Rule Before Your Pap Smear
To get the most accurate Pap test results, don’t have any sexual encounters for 2 to 3 days before the test. Also, don’t use the following for 2 to 3 days before the test, so you don’t wash away any abnormal cells.
- Vaginal medicines
- Vaginal creams or powders
- Birth control foams
3. Before Your Breast Exam
To help with discomfort and acquire clear images, schedule your mammogram when your breasts aren’t likely to be sore or swollen. Avoid, if possible, the week leading up to your period.
In addition, it is not advisable on exam day to apply deodorant, antiperspirant, powders, lotions, creams, or perfumes beneath your arms or on or under your breasts. Some of these contain elements that can appear as white spots on x-rays.
4. Before You Take the Physical Exam
Follow these instructions carefully before performing a physical examination to ensure it goes well.
- Have a restful night’s sleep
- Skip the fatty and salty foods.
- Prevent vigorous exercise
- Don’t consume beverages with caffeine.
- Drink Water
- Know your medicines
Where to Get a Well-Woman Exam?
When searching “pap smear exams near me” or “well-woman exams in Houston Texas” look no further than
Houston Family Practice.
We have highly trained medical professionals who would love to assist you in a comfortable and safe setting to obtain accurate results and maintain your health.
Call us at 713-520-6016 today and schedule your well-woman exam.