What are the specific concerns of women’s health?
Women’s health encompasses a wide variety of diseases and conditions that affect a woman’s physical and emotional well-being. The doctors at AllCare Family Medicine and Urgent Care of Columbia can provide support in terms of:
Women’s health services include regular gynecological checkups, Pap smears, and breast cancer screenings.
What is a well-woman exam?
A well-woman exam is a yearly meeting with the doctor where you can discuss health concerns, undergo a pelvic exam, breast exam, physical, and sometimes a Pap smear.
Well-women exams are an important part of your preventive care. The doctor can identify irregularities, such as ovarian cysts or uterine fibroids, before they become a serious issue. The exams also ensure you’re up to date on all your health screenings. Your well-woman visit is the perfect time to ask questions about your menstrual cycle, birth control, or any unusual symptoms, such as pelvic pain.
What is a Pap smear?
Pap smears are important screening tests for cervical cancer. A positive Pap smear doesn’t mean you have cancer, just that you have irregular cells that could be precancerous and benefit from further evaluation.
A Pap smear is performed during your pelvic exam. The doctor uses a swab to take a small sampling of cells from your cervix. The procedure is quick and painless, and the cells are sent to a lab for analysis.
You should have your first Pap smear by age 21. After that, your doctor recommends a schedule that’s appropriate for your health, sexual history, and age.
What issues are reviewed during a women’s health exam?
You go over any changes to your health history and any unusual symptoms or concerns you have. Sometimes regular blood work or urine tests are conducted, depending on your symptoms.
Should you come in with unusual symptoms, such as irregular periods, painful intercourse, or an unpleasant vaginal discharge, the doctor does an exam and extra testing. You may also be screened for STDs, especially if you have a new partner or multiple partners. Bring up your concerns and questions about family planning, too.
To achieve optimal health as a woman, see the doctors at AllCare Family Medicine and Urgent Care of Columbia for thorough, compassionate care. Call the office or book online for an appointment today.