An annual visit to an OB-GYN is an important component of preventive healthcare for women. These visits provide the opportunity to check in with your provider about any health changes and receive important screenings, including a Pap smear. Here’s a closer look at why you should never miss your annual women’s wellness visit.
3 Reasons to Go for an Annual OB-GYN Visit
1. Discuss Concerns or Changes
An annual visit offers you the chance to discuss any reproductive changes with your provider. For example, if you’re experiencing heavy periods or would like to start or switch birth control methods, you can talk about it during your appointment. Your provider may also ask whether you’d like to have any tests performed for sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Finally, if you’re thinking about starting a family soon, your provider can discuss considerations before trying to conceive, such as avoiding certain medications.
2. Receive a Physical Exam
Your annual appointment will also include a physical exam. The doctor will feel your breast tissue to check for any lumps or other abnormalities which could indicate cysts or tumors. They’ll perform a pelvic exam as well, during which they can detect inflammation or changes that require attention.
Based on their findings, they could recommend further testing, such as breast imaging or a pelvic ultrasound, which would help them identify the cause for changes and recommend a treatment course, if needed.
3. Get Screened for Abnormal Cells
During your visit, you may receive a Pap smear, a screening that can detect abnormal cervical cells, which could indicate pre-cancerous changes. The earlier these abnormalities are detected, the sooner they can be treated, which can support better outcomes. While cervical cancer was once the leading cause of death for U.S. women, this test has helped to reduce rates drastically. In addition to pre-cancerous cells, Pap smears may also detect other cervical abnormalities, such as inflammation or infections. Women are advised to begin receiving this screening by the age of 21.
If you’re due for your annual exam, turn to Greece OB-GYN, LLP in Rochester, NY. This team of caring providers offers a full range of gynecological care, including preventive services such as Pap smears, as well as obstetrics. To accommodate busy patients, the practice has appointments available during evening hours. See their full list of services online or schedule your next visit by calling (585) 225-6680.