Whether it be work, family or friends we’re all busy with the usual demands of life. But in the busyness of living many of us forget to take care of ourselves and our health takes a back seat to other priorities.
But consider that without your own good health you’re not able to help your loved ones or those around you. Everyone is at their best when at their healthiest.
A Well Woman exam is a great way to make sure that you’re at your healthiest. The exam is all about you. It focuses on your overall health and your reproductive health. So what should you expect?
What is a well-woman exam
A Well Woman exam can take a number of different shapes but the general concept is for your doctor to get a holistic view of your current health status. The exam may have some of the following elements:
- A physical examination
- Other exams such as a breast or pelvic exam
- A pap smear
- General health questions
Your own Well Woman exam will be tailored to your own past medical history so not all of these tests may be required.
What you can expect
A Well Woman exam gives you the opportunity to speak to your doctor about any new or ongoing health concern. It’s also a chance to ask questions, discuss any medical problems or talk about any health-related issues that are troubling you. Your healthcare provider may also ask you questions about the following:
- Your menstruation cycle
- If you’re up to date with your vaccinations, pap smears and/or mammograms
- If you’re sexually active you may talk about contraception or STD testing
- If you’re considering pregnancy they may also suggest booking another preconception appointment
Throughout the exam you may be asked questions of a personal nature but rest assured that any information you provide is treated with the strictest confidence and sensitivity. These questions allow your doctor to obtain a better picture of your health status.
Additionally, you are always welcome to ask for a chaperone or you may bring along a trusted family member or friend to attend with you. The goal is to make the experience as comfortable and stress-free as possible.
How to prepare for a Well Woman exam
No special preparation is required unless you have been specifically directed. Otherwise, just show up with a list of any questions you may have.
We recommend that women not douche or use vaginal creams 24 hours prior to the exam.
If you have your period on the day of the exam: It’s okay for the healthcare provider to perform a pelvic exam when you’re on your period. However, most doctors encourage you to schedule your exam for a day when you aren’t menstruating
Will you need to have any tests?
It depends. Over the course of the examination and if you have any symptoms that warrant further investigation, your doctor may suggest further testing. The presence of symptoms such as ongoing pelvic pain or abnormal bleeding might require some testing but your doctor will discuss this with you beforehand.
If you have any questions before booking your exam be sure to contact us any questions, concerns or special accommodations that you may need.