What to Expect From Your Annual ExamGulf Coast Healthy Living Magazine Volume 5, Issue 3 - Baptist Medical Group
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends annual, well-woman exams beginning at age 21. However, it is also recommended that a woman’s initial introduction to a gynecologist for screening, preventive services and guidance begin between the ages of 13 and 15. Leslie Sanders, M.D., an OB/GYN at Baptist Medical Group – Ladies First, answers some of the questions you might have about this important exam.
A Q&A With Leslie Sanders, M.D.
- How should I prepare for my annual exam?
- Take notes regarding your menstrual cycle. How frequently menstruation occurs, how long it lasts, heaviness of flow and any associated pain. Also, be sure to bring any pap smear, mammography or other gynecologic records if your physician doesn’t already have them on file. Bring a medication list if you have one, and be prepared to discuss your medical, vaccination and family histories.
- What else can a gynecologist do for me?
- Gynecologists provide a multitude of services from annual preventive and screening services to treating gynecologic problems both medically and surgically. They can also evaluate fertility and help with identifying and managing symptoms related to menopause.
- What can I expect at my exam?
- A discussion regarding your medical history and family history, and a physical exam (usually including a pelvic exam). Your physician also might help you identify certain risk factors and determine what preventive services and cancer screenings are recommended based on your history, risk factors and age.