Why You Should Book Your Annual Well Woman Exam Today

Scheduling and attending an annual well woman exam is on a woman’s to-do list from the time she is around 18 years of age (though there are benefits to attending when your period starts) until around age 65. We acknowledge that dedicating this time and energy may not be the most exciting part of your day once a year, but like most aspects of healthcare, it is entirely necessary.

If you haven’t already booked your annual exam for 2022, we kindly ask that you consider doing so as soon as possible. Annual well woman exams provide a number of essential benefits, and we would not want anyone to miss out on important medical care.

The benefits of a yearly well woman exam

The main function of an annual exam with PWOG is preventative care. Your doctor is completing a review of your gynecological and breast health. You will likely receive a pap smear/test which will screen for cancerous and precancerous cells. Outside of self-exams (which we fully support and recommend), this is the only opportunity you will have for this type of careful screening.

If cancerous or precancerous cells are detected, additionally testing and treatment can begin swiftly. If an exam is not attended and these cells linger/grow, then the severity of a medical situation can increase significantly.

While we encourage women with questions and concerns about birth control to schedule a separate appointment so this can be discussed directly, you do have the opportunity to connect with your doctor re: contraception. If you would like to begin taking birth control, your annual exam is the perfect time to start this discussion with your doctor. If you are on birth control, but find that it is not right for you (side effects, etc.), the annual exam is also an opportunity to let your doctor know that you’d like to either stop or change your method of contraception.

There are options outside of the birth control pill you can consider. Birth control options can include IUDs, implants, and sterilization if applicable to your situation.

Annual exams offer patients peace of mind, knowing that they have taken an important proactive step toward protecting their health. We know that a gynecological and breast exam is deeply personal, and can feel invasive, even anxiety-inducing depending on our patient’s personal history. We encourage those experiencing anxiety over attending an exam to please consider connecting with our staff directly. We are happy to walk you through each stage of what will happen, we’ll do our best to book your appointment with your provider of choice, and pending local guidelines on COVID-19 we can discuss having a support person attend the appointment with you.

If additional screening or medical care is needed after an annual exam, our team is happy to continue with meeting needs across contraception, STD testing/treatment, menopausal care, abnormal menstrual experiences, UTIs, breast health, HPV vaccinations, and more.

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