Your Reminder for an Annual Checkup: Why it's a Must

As a new year has just begun, focusing on your health and ensuring that you’re up to date on doctor appointments is vital. An annual wellness check for women is essential, so if you’ve been letting those yearly appointments slide, here are some reasons to make your 2020 appointment now:

Wellness Visit
Your overall physical health is everything. Your annual exam checks on your body mass index, vital signs, abdomen, and lymph nodes.  Doing all this gives your doctor the chance to evaluate your overall health.  By coming in annually, the doctor has a baseline and can compare your current stats to make sure that you’re on the right path.  Starting to see an Ob-Gyn between the ages of 13-15 is recommended by The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG).

Pap Smear 
A pap smear screens for cancer and other health concerns.  Quick, simple and straightforward, this easy procedure is an important one to incorporate into annual visits.  After a conversation with your doctor about your medical history, a pap smear may be necessary in your yearly visits.

Breast Exam
Breast exams are important for all women, especially those who have a history of breast cancer in their family.  In the United States, over 65 % of women 40 and older actively get breast exams, but that leaves over 30 percent of women who are not doing them. Your doctor will perform a breast exam to check for any issues. Depending on your breast density, they may write you a script for a mammogram or sonogram. Early detection of breast cancer can be the difference between life and death.  

Pelvic Exam
Your doctor will perform a pelvic exam during your annual visit.  A pelvic exam provides insight into causes for women with menstrual disorders, vaginal discharge, pelvic pain, or infertility. Pelvic exams are essential for older women experiencing perimenopause, vaginal discomfort, bowel or bladder concerns, and abnormal uterine bleeding.  This is one exam not to be missed.

Irregular Periods 
Your annual exam is the time to discuss any concerns that you have about your menstrual cycle, especially any changes that cause worry.  If your period has become irregular, if there is a change in blood flow or if your periods have stopped completely, tell your doctor. These situations can impact your fertility going forward, so make sure to keep regular records of your cycle and be able to discuss it with your doctor. 

Birth Control 
If you’re sexually active, your doctor can advise you on types of birth control that are available and which would be the best options for you. Your Ob-Gyn is also your best resource for family planning advice, so take the time to discuss these subjects at your annual appointment. 

Put your health first. Call South Bay to make an appointment for your yearly exam today at (631) 587-2500. You’ll be glad that you did! 


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