Receiving gynecological care from a fully trained primary care physician can be an incredible asset, particularly because women have specific medical and health needs that fall under the umbrella of gynecological care. At Discover Health in San Francisco, women’s health specialist Dr. Radha Lewis uses her specialized skills, broad base of knowledge, and supportive bedside manner to provide the most comprehensive healthcare for women in the North Beach area. Call or book your appointment online today.
Why is an annual well-woman exam important?
The annual well-woman exam is the cornerstone of preventive care in gynecological medicine. During your annual exam, Dr. Lewis covers many important aspects of your health, including:
Depending on your age, health history, and any current medical issues, your well-woman exam may include screenings for high blood pressure, diabetes, and osteoporosis.
Annual well-woman exams are when many women undergo routine screenings for breast and cervical cancer; Dr. Lewis may also recommend you have a colon cancer screening.
If you need your annual flu shot or any other type of vaccination, you can get it at your annual exam.
Menstrual cycle issues
Your well-woman exam is an ideal time to discuss menstrual cycle abnormalities, including heavy bleeding, pelvic pain, or irregular periods.
Sexual infection screening
You can request sexually transmitted infection (STI) screenings, including tests for chlamydia, gonorrhea, and genital herpes.
Dr. Lewis can also help you understand how to better manage your weight through regular physical activity and optimal nutrition.
Your annual well-woman exam is also an opportune time to learn more about your birth control options, receive preconception counseling, or get help with menopause symptoms.
Do I need an annual Pap test?
A Pap smear detects abnormal cells in your cervix, where the lower part of your uterus opens into your vagina. Early detection of abnormal cervical cells is a highly effective way to prevent cervical cancer.
A Pap test is usually part of a routine pelvic exam, and it’s recommended every three years for women between the ages of 21 and 65. If you’re older than 30, Dr. Lewis may recommend that you either continue getting a Pap test every three years or get a Pap test along with an HPV screening once every five years.
If you have an increased risk of developing cervical cancer, you’ll probably require more frequent Pap smears.
When should I start having mammograms?
A mammogram is a special type of X-ray that detects breast cancer in women who don’t otherwise have any signs or symptoms of the disease. Mammograms are also used to help get a clearer picture of any questionable lumps or masses found during a routine breast exam or self-exam. Most women should begin having annual mammograms at the age of 40.
If it’s time for your annual well-woman visit, or you need to schedule a Pap test or mammogram, call Discover Health or book your appointment online today.