Staying healthy is important for everyone, but in many cases there are health concerns that are unique to women. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), 15.6% of women in the United States are in fair to poor health. Women are more likely to deal with conditions like urinary tract infections, osteoarthritis, sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), fatal heart attacks, depression, and anxiety. So in addition to the annual physicals that everyone should have, women should also make sure to have a well woman exam.
Are you looking for a well woman exam in the Las Vegas, Nevada area? Dr. Staci McHale and the compassionate healthcare experts at New Beginnings OB-GYN offer a wide range of obstetric and gynecological services tailored to your individual needs to give you the treatment you deserve.
What is a well woman exam?
Well woman examinations are designed to help Dr. McHale gauge your reproductive health as well as your general health, assess possible underlying conditions, and provide treatments if needed. To better understand how this works, let’s look at what your wellness exam entails, what testing to expect, and how the exam changes as you age.
What a well woman exam entails
During a well woman exam, Dr. McHale comprehensively determines your overall health and evaluates your risk factors for conditions through preventive screenings. Dr. McHale conducts a detailed personal and family medical history to see what conditions you may be at risk for, including:
- Different types of cancer
- Human papillomavirus (HPV)
- Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)
- Heart disease
- High cholesterol
- Mental health issues like depression and anxiety
Women also have a higher risk of dying from heart attacks than men. This means that cardiovascular tests are just as important as testing for problems with your reproductive system.
What tests to expect
In addition to your overall health needs, your gynecological health is important throughout your life. That’s why we offer screenings specific to your reproductive system. During a well woman exam, you may be offered any of the following tests.
This exam helps to ensure your external and internal reproductive system (vagina, cervix, vulva, fallopian tubes, ovaries) looks and functions normally without any abnormalities.
This is a test that collects cells from your cervix and uses them to check for cancer, which is examined under a microscope. Early detection of cervical cancer can make a world of difference in treatment.
This test is designed to check for lumps in your breast, which is essential to determine whether or not you have breast cancer. This includes both physical breast exams and mammograms.
Sexually active women (including pregnant women and women with multiple partners) should be regularly tested for STDs like chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, and HIV.
The well woman exam as you age
The structure of your well woman exam changes over your lifetime. Your first visit should be in your teens (often between 13-15) when your menstrual cycle starts. During this visit, you can ask important questions about the changes in your body and are often offered an HPV vaccine.
Depending on your age and medical history, we usually recommend the following preventative screenings:
- Pap smear every three years from ages 21-29
- Pap smear and HPV test every five years from ages 30-65
- Breast exams every 1-3 years from ages 25-39
- Mammograms every 1-2 to years for ages 40+
Well woman exams are important through all your life stages, from adolescence to menopause. Having regular well women exams is vital to understanding your health and getting early treatment when necessary. If you’re ready for your exam, contact Dr. McHale and New Beginnings OB-GYN today to get started.