Have you scheduled your well-woman visit with your gynecologist? Annual exams are important even if you're not due for a Pap smear this year. In fact, regular visits to your Rockville, MD, gynecologists at Capital Women's Care can help you maintain good reproductive and general health.
How can an annual exam help me protect my health?
Annual examinations help your doctor identify possible signs of breast or reproductive system cancer. Although most women don't need Pap smears yearly anymore, regular breast and pelvic exams are still needed. If your Rockville gynecologist finds a lump in your breast or notices an abnormality in your vagina, vulva, ovaries or uterus, you'll be given recommendations regarding tests used to rule in or rule out cancer, diseases, conditions and infections.
In addition to pelvic and breast exams, an annual visit to your gynecologist may include:
- A Blood Pressure Screening: High blood pressure doesn't usually cause noticeable symptoms in the earliest stages. If the disease isn't treated promptly, you may be more likely to develop a stroke, heart attack, kidney disease or vision loss. Regular screenings ensure that you receive medications that keep your blood pressure under control.
- Pap Test When Needed: Pap smears are used to detect abnormal cells in the cervix or cervical cancer. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends that women aged 21 to 29 have Pap smears every three years, while those in the 30 - 65 age range should have a Pap smear and human papillomavirus (HPV) test every five years or a Pap test only ever three years. Women over 65 may no longer need Pap smears in some cases, although they should continue to schedule annual exams.
- Discussions About Birth Control, Fertility, Sexuality and General Health Issues: Your gynecologist will help you find the best form of birth control, answer questions about sexuality and pregnancy planning, help you evaluate your risk of sexually transmitted diseases (STD), provide STD testing and evaluate symptoms that may indicate a problem with your health.
- Information About Perimenopause and Menopause Symptoms: Many women experience at least one unpleasant symptom during perimenopause and menopause. Your gynecologist can offer recommendations that may help reduce hot flashes, relieve vaginal dryness and help you manage other common symptoms. He or she may also recommend a bone scan to determine if you have any signs of osteoporosis. If you do have the condition, prompt treatment can help you strengthen your bones and reduce your risk of fractures.
Safeguard your health with an annual visit to the gynecologists Dr. Eric Ashkin, Dr. Leslie Masiky, Dr. Aliya Poshni, and Dr. Adam Footer at Capital Women's Care in Rockville, MD. Call (301) 569-6301 to schedule your appointment.