An annual exam when you’re not feeling unwell may seem like something you don’t need to do. What’s important about an annual exam and why should you get them? An annual exam is an essential part of your long-term health and overall well-being.
Annual exams go far in preventing health conditions that might otherwise go undetected. These appointments are an excellent time to discuss your medical history and concerns with your physician. Any questions you have will be addressed as well.
An annual exam is typically a full exam, including a pelvic and breast exam that also involves a pap smear. Your doctor gathers important information during this office visit.
A pap smear is performed during your annual gynecological visit, which allows your physician to screen for cancer of the cervix. The doctor is also on the lookout for other abnormalities of the reproductive organs.
Tests for HPV, or Human Papilloma Virus, may also need to be done during the annual exam. HPV is a very common sexually transmitted virus that can predispose a woman to cervical cancer. An opportune time to ask your physician about vaccinations to protect yourself from HPV is during this visit — in addition to getting tested for sexually transmitted infection.
The doctor will also perform a brief breast examination as part of the annual exam, which may help you to catch any signs of abnormalities early on. By examining the breasts, they’re able to feel for lumps or any other irregularities, which may be a serious medical condition.
Call Pacific Women’s Center to schedule your annual exam. We will do everything we can to make you as relaxed and comfortable as possible.