As women’s health experts, OB/GYNs are highly trained and ideally positioned to meet your most important health care needs. Well-woman care, which forms the foundation of preventive care in gynecological medicine, makes staying on top of your health more convenient than ever. Braden Richmond, MD, at Special Care for Women provides comprehensive well-woman exams, including routine cancer screenings, for patients in Anniston, Alabama, and the surrounding areas. If you’re due for a checkup, call the office or book your appointment online today.
Well Woman Exam Q & A
What is a well-woman exam?
As a cornerstone of women’s preventive health care, the annual well-woman exam is a good time to assess your medical history and health risks. It’s an ideal time to go over any new concerns you may have regarding your physical, mental, sexual, or reproductive health.
It’s also an ideal time to discuss the lifestyle choices that impact your overall health, including your exercise, dietary, and sleep habits.
Depending on your stage in life, your annual exam can be an opportune time to learn more about your birth control options, receive preconception counseling, talk about fertility problems, or get help with menopause symptoms.
Dr. Richmond uses a special questionnaire and takes the time needed to identify any problems that need to be addressed.
What does a well-woman exam cover?
After taking your height, weight and blood pressure, Dr. Richmond may address any of the following: General healthDepending on your age and medical history, Dr. Richmond may recommend screenings for diabetes, bone density, and other common conditions. Cancer screeningsEvery well-woman exam includes routine pelvic and breast exams. When recommended, you’ll also have routine screenings for breast cancer (mammogram) and cervical cancer (Pap smear). Birth controlIf you’re sexually active but you’d like to reduce your risk of unintended pregnancy, Dr. Richmond can help you understand your birth control options. Your age, medical history, overall health, and sexual activity can help you choose the method that’s best for you. Dr. Richmond offers NEXPLANON® insertions but does not place IUDs. However, he can remove IUDs. Menstruation issuesDuring your well-woman exam, Dr. Richmond can help you address any recent menstrual cycle abnormalities, including heavy bleeding, pelvic pain, or irregular periods. STD screeningIf you have concerns about sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), you can request STD screenings, including tests for herpes, HPV, chlamydia, gonorrhea, or any other infection that’s spread through sexual contact. Sexual health concernsIf you have any worries about your sexual health, including questions about painful intercourse, libido problems, or hormonal changes, you can discuss them during your exam. Weight controlDr. Richmond can also teach you how regular physical activity and a nutritious diet can help you maintain a healthy weight as you approach menopause.
When should I get a Pap test?
A Pap test, which is an indispensable tool in early cervical cancer prevention, detects abnormal cells in your cervix. It’s done during a routine pelvic exam and is generally recommended every three years for women between the ages of 21 and 65.
After you turn 30, Dr. Richmond may advise you to continue having a Pap test every three years, or start having a Pap test along with an HPV screening every five years. You may require more frequent Pap tests if you have a higher risk of developing cervical cancer.
When should I start having mammograms?
Most women begin having an annual mammogram at the age of 40. This special type of X-ray can help detect early-stage breast cancer in women who don’t yet have any signs or symptoms of the disease. Mammograms may also be used to help assess any lumps found during a breast exam.