Even if you’ve never heard of preventive health care, there is a good chance you’re already participating in it. The term is true to its name; anything you do to keep yourself healthy and prevent future health issues can be considered preventive care. It’s the reason you go to the dentist every six months, book a yearly physical, and, if you wear glasses or contacts, get your yearly eye exam. The CDC estimates that if everyone practiced preventive care, $260 billion and 100,000 lives would be saved every year.
A healthy man can probably meet his preventive health goals with a physical and the above mentioned eye and dental care. Women, however, should add a well-woman exam to their list. These exams are an important part of caring for your reproductive system throughout your life and play a key role in keeping you healthy through all of life’s changes.
To ensure your reproductive health is where it should be, come see the team at Qvita Health & Wellness. Our CEO and leader, Panagiota (Peggy) Demetriou, ARNP, FNP-BC, is proud to offer a wide range of primary care and cosmetic services. Our practice uses a holistic approach to deliver comprehensive health care that considers all sides of the equation.
To get started, use this blog post to learn more about the well-woman exam and what to expect during your visit.
Who needs a well-woman exam?
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends well-woman exams for everyone with a vulva, breasts, or a uterus, starting between the ages of 13 and 15. Although the focus of your well-woman visits may change as you age, you should never stop getting them. Even post-menopausal women should get a yearly check-up, as cancers in the reproductive system can develop at any age.
What’s the purpose of a well-woman exam?
A well-woman exam is all about keeping you healthy. In addition to the tests you may typically associate with a yearly physician’s visit, you should use the exam as a time to ask questions and have an honest discussion with your health care provider. In addition to your general health history, you should be ready to answer questions about any of the following:
- Alcohol consumption
- Sexual practices
- Menstrual cycles
You should also use a well-woman exam to point out any trends or developments you’ve noticed. If, for example, you’ve noticed increased vaginal discharge or irregular periods, this is a great time to mention these changes.
Well-woman exam tests
Apart from an honest conversation about your health, a well-woman exam could include many different tests to make sure you’re in good health. Depending on your age and current medical situation, you should experience at least a few of the below tests:
- Pap smear
- Sexually transmitted disease screening
- Bone density test
- Cholesterol test
- Vital signs assessment
- Physical examination
- Urine screening
Most well-woman exams also include a breast exam and a pelvic exam.
Make well-woman exams a part of your preventive health care plan. Qvita Health & Wellness also offers many women’s health services to help you feel your best. Call or request an appointment at our Wesley Chapel office today.