Knowing what’s going on inside your body is nearly impossible without regular visits to your doctor. Dr. Bhanot offers annual well-woman exams to assess your health with physical exams and wellness lab testing.
Gynecology Q & A
Why are regular gynecologic exams important?
Gynecologic exams including a pelvic exam are important for identifying diseases and medical conditions, including sexually-transmitted diseases and cancer, in their earliest stages, when they’re most treatable. Having your first pelvic exam when you’re young – ideally in your early 20s – can provide important baseline information that can help your doctor spot changes during future exams which could be indicative of an evolving medical condition. Regular exams also play an important role in ensuring you have all the information you need to make smart choices about your health.
What can I expect during my exam?
During your visit, your doctor will record your blood pressure and weight, feel your tummy and make an overall health assessment. You’ll also have a clinical breast exam – a critical tool in identifying early-stage breast cancer – and in most cases, a pelvic exam to examine your external genitalia, vagina, uterus and cervix and to perform a pap smear to screen for cervical cancer. Your exam will be based in part on your age and other health-related factors. Your exam is an ideal time to ask questions and talk about your concerns about sexual health, pregnancy and other issues.
How often should I have a gynecological exam?
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommends annual well visits, including annual pelvic exams for women over 21, to maintain good health. Postponing visits can allow many diseases and medical conditions to go undetected, allowing them to develop into more serious conditions. The organization also recommends a first visit to a gynecologist take place between the ages of 13 and 15 for educational purposes and screening, with a pelvic exam only when medically indicated.
How should I prepare for my annual well-woman exam?
Well-woman exams are routine exams that don’t take much preparation on your part. To be ready for a smooth appointment, we recommend that you follow these easy instructions:
• Book your appointment between periods
• Avoid intercourse for 24 hours
• Avoid inserting anything into your vaginal canal for 24 hours
• List questions about your sexual health
• List your current medications
• Remember the dates of your last period
Taking these steps ensures that your test results are as accurate as possible, and your appointment is quick and efficient.
Reserve your next annual well-woman visit with Dr. Bhanot.