by Brittany Pena, NP, Prescott Women’s Clinic
Are you up to date with your well woman exam? This year it is time to put yourself first! Many women dread having to go to the gynecologist. However, simple preventative tests can help ensure your health for years to come.
According to The American Cancer Society, cervical cancer is most frequently diagnosed in women between the ages of 35 to 44 years old. Cervical cancer is assessed during a well woman exam with Pap smear and human papillomavirus virus (HPV) testing.
Cervical cancer screenings start at the age of 21 or can be done earlier if indicated. There are new guidelines for cervical cancer screening, so please talk with your health care provider in regards to your specific testing needs. Depending on a woman’s age or personal health history, they should be evaluated annually by an OB/GYN with an exam to include a pelvic and breast exam.
What to expect at a well woman exam:
* Breast exam
* Pelvic exam
* Pap smear
Annual routine visits to an OB/Gyn are a crucial part of a woman’s overall health but cervical cancer screening is just one part of the exam.
Education and counseling opportunities for sexually transmitted disease testing, birth control options, how to prepare for pregnancy, addressing menopausal issues and many other topics can be discussed with your health care provider.
Please contact your OB/GYN health care provider today to schedule your well women exam or office visit.