The Importance of Annual Wellness Exams for Women

Life can get busy but taking the time to focus on health is important to quality of life. A healthy lifestyle includes preventative care services, like yearly well woman exams and screenings. Wellness exams for women at Colorado Obstetrics & Women’s Health are a vital element of prevention and offer an array of valuable information, guidance, and referrals. They help detect health problems early, prevent diseases, and target optimal health.

What is a Well Woman Exam?

A well woman exam is a wellness exam with a focus on female-specific conditions. This annual wellness exam aims to reduce health risks for women and prevent health problems. This is an ongoing service available throughout a woman’s life and can begin at age 13, when menstruation starts, or once sexually active.

General Wellness

During the well woman appointment, a routine wellness exam is provided. This includes:
  • Basic vital signs – Height, weight, blood pressure, heart rate, respiratory rate, and temperature.
  • Personal and family medical history.
  • Current medications including over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements.
  • Recent immunizations.
  • Psychosocial conditions and lifestyle behaviors such as smoking, alcohol use, and depression.
Discussions in well woman visits are dependent on the woman’s personal situation, such as age, medical conditions, and sexual activity. Topics include birth control, family planning, pregnancy, menstrual cycle and flow, risk for sexually transmitted diseases, and menopause.

Women’s Health Exam and Screenings

Gynecological exams at well woman visits are the paps, pelvic exam and the breast exam. They are performed with your comfort and privacy in mind. Discuss any concerns with your medical provider before your annual wellness exam to help lower anxiety.
  • A pelvic exam is a physical examination of the pelvic region, including the vulva, cervix, uterus, ovaries, and rectum. This exam can be performed annually for at-risk women or every 3-5 years for low-risk women.
  • During the pelvic exam, a Pap smear can be conducted to screen for cervical cancer and test for the human papillomavirus (HPV).
  • A breast exam takes just a few moments and is used to screen for breast cancer.
Following these exams, your provider will discuss concerns, recommendations, and referrals based on their findings that cater to your personal health needs.

Why is a Yearly Woman’s Exam Important?

An annual well woman exam is essential for maintaining good health. These exams can interrupt developing health problems and help you change poor habits easier. Benefits of completing an annual well woman exam include:
  • Updating and reviewing your health chart to help your healthcare provider stay in tune with your health.
  • Opportunities to discuss health concerns that you may be at risk for. These concerns can be addressed with preventative screenings.
  • Finding health issues early and strategize improvements quickly.
  • Planning other screenings and referrals, depending on age and risk.

Early Prevention

Preventative screenings included in a wellness exam for women help detect cancers like cervical, ovarian, and breast cancer, or other health conditions like osteoporosis and pelvic inflammatory disease. Catching these and other diseases before they cause major problems can save your life. Once prevention is no longer an option, treatment is the next step. These services may include more tests, medications, surgeries, and hospitalizations. A yearly wellness exam can prevent these detrimental situations.

A Healthier You

Ultimately, these annual wellness exams for women can change, extend, or save your life. Even if all you need is peace of mind, you will leave your appointment with our women’s health clinic with improved self-awareness. Why wait any longer? Schedule a wellness exam for women at Colorado Obstetrics & Women’s Health in Colorado Springs and invest in a healthier you.