7 Reasons to Schedule Your Next Visit Now
Are you overdue for a GYN visit? Many women in Connecticut skipped their annual due to the COVID-19 pandemic. If you fall into this category, it’s the perfect time to contact your provider’s office to schedule a visit! In most cases, the annual well-woman exam is covered with no co-pay if you have insurance. Here are 7 more reasons to schedule a routine appointment this spring, plus tips on health considerations depending on your age:
- Overall Health Assessment: Your provider will perform a physical exam to assess your overall health, which includes a blood pressure screening, examination of the abdomen and lymph nodes, and a brief mental health assessment. These screenings are important to help you maintain a healthy lifestyle.
- Pelvic Exam: The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommends an annual pelvic exam starting at age 21 for asymptomatic women. A pelvic exam helps your provider detect any reproductive system problems as well as certain cancers or infections in their early stages.
- Clinical Breast Exam: ACOG, the American Cancer Society, and the National Comprehensive Cancer Network recommend CBEs every one to three years for women ages 20–39. ACOG also recommends annual clinical breast exams and annual mammograms for women age 40 and older. Early detection is the best way to prevent cancer.
- Contraceptive Counseling: Your provider will discuss what, if any, contraceptives you wish to use. This discussion will include different ways to prevent pregnancy and will help you determine which method best fits your lifestyle.
- Menopause and Midlife Counseling: If you are over age 45 or having perimenopausal symptoms, your health care provider will provide information on risks and benefits of different therapies. They will also discuss lifestyle habits that affect perimenopause/menopause symptoms.
- STI counseling: Sexually active women may receive annual counseling on sexually transmitted infections (STIs). This may include necessary blood or urine tests to screen for STIs.
- Cervical Cancer Screening: The best way to prevent cervical cancer is to follow ACOG guidelines for Pap tests and HPV testing. Though many women do not need these tests annually, if you’ve had irregular pap tests in the past, you may still need them annually or more frequently. If you have not had abnormal results in the past, you still need to be tested every three to five years.
Though every woman (21 and older) should have a well-woman exam every year, there are different health matters to consider based on your age. (These recommendations assume no risk factors or prior abnormal screening test results. If you feel you are at high risk for any of these diseases you may have to be screened more often and should consult your provider.)