Your annual women’s wellness exam is an essential checkup that makes sure that you are healthy. By being proactive and going every year, you can rest assured that you have done everything you can to detect any potential health issues and prevent future conditions from occurring. By prioritizing your annual exam, you can have better reproductive health.

Who Needs An Annual Exam

According to the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, a woman should begin getting annual pelvic and breast exams at age 19 or after first becoming sexually active, whichever comes first. Women should receive their pap test starting at age 21. Even if you are menopausal or perimenopausal, it is recommended that you come in for an annual exam to screen for certain cancers and talk to your doctor about managing your symptoms.

What You Can Expect

In general, your annual exam will include:

  • An overall assessment of your health, including going through your medical history and any symptoms you may have
  • A breast exam to check for lumps and changes to your breast tissue or skin
  • A pelvic exam to check the health of your pelvis, vagina, vulva, uterus, cervix, ovaries, and rectum
  • A Pap test to check for cervical cancer (this occurs once every two years if your results have been normal; an abnormal Pap test may warrant your doctor checking every year)

You may also receive vaccinations according to your specific risks and age, which can include the HPV shot. Additionally, annual exams generally include gonorrhea, chlamydia, and HIV tests for sexually active women from age 19 to 64.

At Complete Healthcare for Women, we understand that some women feel uncomfortable getting an annual exam, but it is an important part of your health and well-being. We will do everything in our power to make you feel at ease. Ready to schedule an appointment? We’re taking new patients! Contact us today.