One of the most common types of appointments that I have as an ObGyn are routine annual exams.
I suggest that women start having these annual exams sometime in their early 20’s or as soon as they become sexually active, whichever comes first.
Medical History and Vitals
When a patient comes into my practice for an annual exam, the first thing we cover is a review of medical history and just getting vital signs. This is performed by a Medical Assistant.
Then when I come in, we’ll go back over the medical history, and we can talk about whatever problems you may be encountering at that time.
The Physical Exam
We will perform a basic physical exam and then concentrate on the breast and pelvic exams.
During the breast exam, I’m looking for any lumps or bumps or abnormalities of the breast.
During the pelvic exam is when we will obtain a pap smear and then make sure the ovaries and uterus feel normal.
Also, we may not perform the pap smear every single year. There’s new data suggesting that if you’ve never had an abnormal pap smear, that you don’t have to have a pap smear every single year.
Are You Having Normal Periods?
Also during the annual exam, then we will spend some time talking about periods.
- Are they regular?
- Are they unpredictable?
- Are they fairly normal?
- Are we having problems with heavy bleeding or a painful period?
This is a time when we can start to address if there are any concerns in this area.
How Often Do I Need A Regular Exam?
It is recommended that women have a regular exam with an ObGyn every year.
This ensures that we’re staying on top of everything as it relates to women’s health and your overall health and wellness.