Sometimes women will need additional screenings based on family history. For example, if the woman’s mother had breast cancer or the father had colorectal cancer before age 50, these are considered risk factors. Always ask the doctor if there are extra screenings that are needed because of health and family history. Women who have an increased risk of breast cancer may consider starting screening mammograms before the age of 40.
2. What are my birth control options?
If a birth control option is causing unwanted side effects, women may consider switching to a different method. For example, some women prefer the pill, while others prefer an intrauterine device (IUD). Still, others opt for non-hormonal options like copper IUDs. And birth control can be helpful for more than preventing pregnancy. For some women, hormonal birth control is an effective treatment option for conditions like polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), abnormal uterine bleeding (AUB), or endometriosis.
3. Can I do anything to improve my health?
The best medicine is prevention. Ask the healthcare provider what steps will help improve overall health and wellbeing. If bloodwork shows a risk of diabetes, for example, start changing health habits to improve the numbers. This might involve exercising more, eating healthier, or finding healthy ways to reduce stress. A healthcare provider is there to help promote optimal health, so always ask if there are any specific recommendations for improving wellbeing.
Why do I need an annual exam?
Besides being a time to complete necessary health screenings, the annual exam is an essential step in building a strong patient-provider relationship. When this relationship is positive, the patient experiences better health outcomes. This is due in part to increased patient honesty. Patients also have peace of mind knowing that there is a trusted go-to person who can help if any significant health issues do arise. For more information about well-woman exams, speak with an OB/GYN