While a lot of doctor appointments take place when you're sick or experiencing symptoms, well-woman exams are conducted when you're feeling just fine. They're a vitally important part of preventive care, enabling you to be proactive in the management of your health at every stage of life, and having well-woman visits on a regular basis is the best way to look for early signs of diseases and to ensure you're getting the best care for optimal health at any age.
Well-woman visits begin with a personal and family health history to look for possible risk factors for diseases. You'll also be asked about medications you may be taking, including over-the-counter medicines and vitamins and supplements. Your weight and blood pressure will be measured and your general health will be assessed. You may also have a clinical breast exam and a pelvic exam with a Pap test and HPV testing. In some cases, a urine sample or blood testing may be ordered. The visit is an ideal time to discuss contraception needs or to ask questions about menopause or other health-related issues. Well-woman exams should be conducted annually to provide an ongoing record of care.
Contraception is a very personal decision based on your lifestyle, your sexual activity and your own personal preferences. Each type of birth control offers different types of advantages, and today, there are more options than ever to enable you to take control of your life, including pills, arm and uterine implants, diaphragms and condoms. During your visit, you'll learn about all the different options so you can choose the form of birth control that works best for your needs and offers the most comfortable and most convenient solution.
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