Each year, you should make an appointment with your physician to have a health status evaluation/OBGYN exam, both to preserve existing good health and to catch any abnormalities or conditions at an early stage.
The following areas will be reviewed during your health status evaluation:
- Alcohol, tobacco and other drug use
- Cardiovascular risk factors
- Breast exam to check for lumps or any abnormalities
- Fertility planning and preparation
- High-risk sexual practices
- Level of physical activity
- Physical exam (height, weight, BMI and blood pressure)
- Psychosocial concerns (life/work concerns or domestic violence)
- Sexually transmitted infection screening
Pap Smear Test
After you become sexually active or after the age of 21, your physician will recommend a yearly pelvic exam, as well as a breast, skin and neck exam. The pelvic exam is different from a pap smear screening, which is also recommended after the age of 21. During a pap smear, a small brush swabs the cervix for abnormal cells. The collected cells are then sent to a lab and examined under a microscope, usually returning results within 14 days.
Up until the age of 30, women should have a pap smear screening once every three years. After 30 and until the age of 65, it is recommended that women have a pap smear, co-testing for HPV, once every five years. After the age of 65 or following a hysterectomy where the cervix was removed, women can stop having a regular pap smear.
If there is an abnormal result on a pap smear test, an additional test, called a colposcopy, and increased surveillance are most often recommended.
For More Information
For more information or to schedule an appointment, please call 847.570.5020.