If you’re not scheduling an annual well-woman exam, you’re missing out on opportunities to identify health conditions like cancer in their earliest stages when symptoms may be mild but treatment can be easiest and most effective.
This comprehensive assessment can also ensure that you’re following preventive advice to reduce your risk of new medical issues and diseases.
In addition to contributing to your well-being, a well-woman exam helps you build a trusting relationship with your provider. This can make a difference over the years as your needs change and issues arise, especially if you have to discuss intimate and potentially uncomfortable topics about physical or emotional conditions.
You get the most from an annual well-woman exam when you work with a gynecologist you trust.
Our providers at The Association for Women’s Health Care in Chicago and Northbrook, Illinois, offer comprehensive gynecological services to help you remain as healthy as possible with preventive care, diagnosis, and treatment at all stages of your life.
Scheduling an annual well-woman exam can help you feel confident you’re doing all you can to stay healthy. Learn more about the ways this type of visit can help you maintain and improve your wellness.
Assessment of physical well-being
We evaluate more than your gynecological health during a well-woman visit. Since heart disease and cancer rank as the two leading causes of death for American women, we take time to evaluate whether you’re at an increased risk for these and other common conditions.
By taking a comprehensive medical and family history and considering information about your medications, diet, exercise habits, and lifestyle, we evaluate the state of your overall health.
Measuring your weight, blood pressure, and heart and lung function can also help us identify any abnormalities that require further evaluation.
Examination of the pelvic area
The details of your pelvic examination can vary depending on your age, risk factors, and gynecological health. This part of the visit involves checking the wellness of your reproductive system, including your urinary and vaginal health.
Issues related to pregnancy, menstruation, bleeding, and sexual function may affect how we conduct this part of the examination. As needed, we perform a Pap test and/or HPV test.
Physical screening for breast cancer
Your well-woman visit includes a clinical breast examination, which is an important screening procedure for lumps and other possible signs of cancer in the breast tissue.
Having this type of screening can make a significant difference if you develop breast cancer. When detected early, localized breast cancer has a five-year survival rate of 99%.
In addition to performing the screening, we also review the technique and recommendations for self-examination of your breasts.
Recommendations for tests
Your well-woman visit is an optimal opportunity for us to ensure that you’re aware of recommended health screenings based on your age and other health conditions.
As appropriate, you receive instructions for completing one or more of the following screenings at a later visit to our facility:
- DEXA scan (bone densitometry)
- Breast ultrasound
- Blood test for thyroid disease
- Screenings for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs)
Depending on your age and condition, we may also recommend and administer immunizations like the HPV vaccine, flu shot, or shingles vaccine.
Counseling for concerns and conditions
Whether you’re considering pregnancy or wondering about menopause, your well-woman visit is an opportunity for you to discuss all types of concerns, so come prepared with questions.
It’s also an occasion for us to educate you on issues related to maintaining physical and emotional health and how these aspects of wellness relate to your reproductive well-being.
Depending on your age and condition, you can also take this opportunity to discuss birth control, hormone replacement therapy, or your risk of STDs. As necessary, we arrange for next steps to address recommended changes or treatments.
If it’s been a year or more since your last well-woman exam, don’t delay in scheduling this important and potentially life-saving office visit. Contact our Chicago or Northbrook, Illinois, office today to schedule a consultation.