Beth and Howard Braver, MD
Internal Medicine located in Aventura, FL & Hollywood, FL
A well-woman exam is an excellent opportunity to discuss health concerns with your doctor at Beth and Howard Braver, MD, and one of the best ways to prevent future health problems. With convenient locations in Aventura and Hollywood, Florida, the skilled team of providers is there to assist with women’s health and reproductive issues. Even if you don’t have symptoms, you can benefit from a yearly well-woman exam. Call today to book your appointment or use the online scheduling tool.
Well Woman Exam
What is a well-woman exam?
A well-woman exam is an annual assessment of your overall and reproductive health. A typical well-woman exam includes health screenings, evaluation and counseling, and necessary immunizations based on your age and risk factors.
In addition to a physical exam during your well-woman visit, you can talk to your doctor about any of the following concerns:
- Birth control
- Cancer screening
- High blood pressure
- Depression and mental health issues
- Heavy or painful periods
- Preconception counseling and planning
- Weight control
Annual well-woman exams and screenings can detect any signs of problems in their earliest stages so you can receive prompt treatment. These exams also allow you to establish a relationship with your health care provider so you feel comfortable talking to them and expressing concerns as the need arises.
When should I have my first well-woman exam?
Typically, young women should schedule their first well-woman exam sometime when they’re 13-15 years old. This doesn’t usually include a pelvic exam, but you can discuss health concerns about your period and overall wellness. You can also ask questions about birth control, STDs, and vaccinations, such as the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine to help reduce your risk of certain types of cervical cancer.
You should begin having regularly scheduled Pap smears once you turn 21 to check for early signs of abnormal cells that could lead to cervical cancer. Most women need a Pap smear every three years between ages 21-65. After age 30, your doctor may recommend a combined Pap test and HPV test.
What happens during a Pap smear?
If you need a Pap smear during your well-woman visit, your provider uses a soft brush to obtain a sample of cells from your cervix, the opening of your uterus. You shouldn’t feel any pain during a Pap test and you can resume your daily activities without restrictions. A lab analyzes the cells from your Pap smear and your doctor reports any results that are of concern.
If your cells appear normal and you’re at low risk of developing cervical cancer, you won’t need another Pap smear for three years. However, if cells are abnormal, you may have to undergo further testing. It’s important to note that the presence of abnormal cells doesn’t necessarily mean you have or will get cervical cancer.
To schedule a well-woman exam for yourself or your daughter, call the office closest to you or book an appointment online today. Walk-in appointments are also available.