A lot of changes can occur in a woman’s body in 12 months. Left undiagnosed or untreated, some of those changes could lead to infertility, terminal cancer and more.
This is why the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommends an annual gynecological exam for all women who are sexually active and/or are 21 years of age or older.
An annual exam is not to be confused with a Pap test, which we also recommend being done yearly. A Pap smear is designed to only detect abnormal cervical cells before they become malignant. It does not include other important screenings completed during an annual exam such as breast and pelvic exams.
Women who are on prescription birth control – including pills, IUD’s, vaginal ring, patch and others – will be checked to ensure internal birth control is in place and can receive education on updated methods that may better fit their lifestyle. Technology and medicine are constantly evolving and visiting your OB/GYN annually will help ensure that you are using the most effective and convenient birth control method.
Tests for sexually transmitted diseases (STD’s) such as gonorrhea and chlamydia are also recommended on a yearly basis in patients who are not in monogamous sexual relationships. Such STD’s often do not exhibit symptoms and can cause infertility if left untreated.
An annual visit is also an ideal time to educate yourself on changes to expect from your body, based on your age group. Teens can have an open, safe and educated conversation about menstruation, sexual intercourse and birth control options. Women seeking to get pregnant can get the information they need to plan their next steps. Women entering menopause can better understand the changes they are encountering and how to manage them.
Whichever stage of the journey you are at as a woman, an annual visit is a proactive approach to your gynecological health.
Call 631.587.2500 to schedule your visit today.