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 
  • Contraception
  • Fertility planning and preparation
  • High-risk sexual practices
  • Level of physical activity
  • Nutrition
  • 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.

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