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Women’s Wellness Exam Guide

BE PREPARED FOR YOUR NEXT DOCTOR’S APPOINTMENT.

A well-woman visit is an annual appointment where your doctor checks in on your general health and addresses any health concerns or questions you may have. As a patient, it’s important that you take advantage of this time so you can feel fully informed about all aspects related to your overall health. Use the information below to help you prepare for your next well-woman visit. 

GOALS OF A WELL-WOMAN VISIT.

  • Document your health habits and history
  • Get a physical exam
  • Set health goals

WHAT TO EXPECT.

At your doctor’s appointment, your exam could include:

  • A physical exam (monitoring height and weight, blood pressure)
  • A cervical cancer screening exam (Pap and/or human papillomavirus (HPV) tests)
  • Detection and screening for other diseases (diabetes, cardiovascular, breast and other cancers, osteoporosis, bone density, thyroid)
  • Health status evaluation and counseling

You and your doctor can also discuss other health topics, including:

  • Family planning
  • Exercise and nutrition
  • Personal issues (sex, depression, mood disorders, violence)
  • Menopause management

WHAT TO ASK.

It’s important to ask your doctor questions so you can fully understand any health issues, exams and screening tests related to management of your health. Use our list of questions as a starting point for your discussion. 

Cervical Cancer Screening

  • When should I be screened for cervical cancer?
  • Do I need an HPV test today, along with my Pap? 
  • If have been vaccinated for HPV, do I still need cervical cancer screening? 
  • How often do you recommend I get an HPV test?
  • I want an HPV test that detects HPV 16 and 18, how do I get it?
  • If my results are positive, what is the next step?
  • Are there any brochures, websites or other materials that I can use to learn more about cervical cancer?
 

General Health 

  • Do I need any important shots?
  • How can I protect myself from HIV and other STDs?
  • Where can I get help for a mental health issue?
  • How can I get more physical activity?
  • What form of birth control is right for me?
  • How can I incorporate more healthy eating habits into my diet?
  • Given my family history, am I at a higher risk for certain disease or illnesses?