What Is A Well-Woman Visit?

Most people have heard of the annual exam. Similarly, well-woman visits are check-ups where a primary care provider or OB/GYN reviews a woman’s overall health needs. These visits usually include a physical exam, preventive screenings, and any other needs such as immunizations. What if a woman is feeling healthy? Is the well-woman visit still necessary?

my texas health care obgyn Well-Woman Visits Should You See Your Doctor When Your Healthy

The short answer: yes

Even when women feel well, these check-ups are still crucial. Many chronic conditions, such as high blood pressure or high blood sugar, don’t show many symptoms in early stages. The only way to catch these conditions early is if a woman is getting regular health screenings. So even if a woman feels fine, checking in with a healthcare provider is still vital.

Lowering your cancer risk

One of the most common and crucial parts of the well-woman visit is cancer screening. In particular, the Pap smear is one of the best early detection tools healthcare providers have for cervical cancer. Pap tests look for abnormal cells even before cancer is present. Detecting these cells early makes a big difference in preventing cervical cancer. After age 21, most women need Pap tests every 3 years as long as the results come back normal. After age 30, women may switch to testing for human papillomavirus (HPV) with or without a Pap test.

How can my healthcare provider help?

There are multiple ways a healthcare provider can help during the well-woman visit. Besides taking blood pressure and heart rate, a healthcare provider may discuss:

  • Eating habits and how diet affects health
  • Exercise routines
  • How to quit smoking
  • Mental health concerns and how to increase mental health
  • Home life and relationships
  • Family planning

Even when women feel fine, discussing these areas with a healthcare provider can boost overall wellness. Many women don’t realize that a healthcare provider can provide guidance in multiple health areas, including lifestyle changes and mental health.

The key is prevention

One of the most crucial reasons to see a healthcare provider regularly is to prevent health problems before the problems even arise. Discussing all factors that affect wellness helps to prevent chronic conditions. For example, improving nutrition, exercise, and sleep habits all lower a person’s risk of chronic disease. A healthcare provider is a trusted resource for talking about current habits and providing guidance for how to improve habits. Schedule a well-woman visit today.

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