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Women's Annual Wellness Visits

October 11, 2019 | Dr. Jovana Spreitzer

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Annual wellness visits are important for women of every age. In addition to being an opportunity to catch any possible problems early and prevent any future problems, it’s also an opportunity to discuss any questions or concerns you may have with your doctor.

So, what should you expect at your visit? What exams, screenings, and immunizations will you need this year? Learn more about annual exams and schedule your appointment today.

What to Expect

Women should start annual women’s wellness visits between age 13 and 15. For young women, this is an opportunity to talk about periods (especially if they’re heavy, painful, or irregular), get the HPV vaccine and other immunizations, and discuss their health so they can better understand their bodies. They will also check your height, weight, and blood pressure.

When a woman becomes sexually active, her doctor will also talk to her about birth control and STD testing. Then around age 21, regardless if she is sexually active, a woman will begin needing regular pelvic exams, pap tests, and breast exams.

As you get older, your health will change and your visits will include other tests and referrals for mammograms.

Beyond the physical exams and screenings, the conversation you have with your doctor about your personal history and your family history is also important. In order to gather this information, your doctor will likely ask you similar questions to the following:

  • When was your last period?
  • How often do you have periods?
  • How long do they last?
  • Do you ever bleed/spot between periods?
  • Do you have any unusual pain, itching, or discharge from your vagina or vulva?
  • Do you have any other medical conditions?
  • Do any of your family members have medical problems cancer, heart disease, etc.)?
  • Are you sexually active?
  • Is sex every painful?
  • Do you ever bleed during or after sex?
  • Are you using birth control?
  • Is there any chance you might be pregnant?
  • Are you trying to get pregnant?
  • What do you do to prevent STDs?

Although you might not understand how a questions relates to your health, your doctor is asking because they know the answer can affect your health. For this reason, finding a doctor who you’re comfortable with is important. By building an open, honest relationship with your doctor, you are better caring for your health.

Women’s Screening Guidelines

Below are general screening guidelines for women of all ages. However, you should always talk to your doctor as they may recommend something different for you depending on your personal and family histories.

Screening/Exam/Immunization

Age

Frequency

General Physical Exam

All ages

Annually

Hypertension Screening (Blood Pressure)

All ages

Annually

HPV Vaccine

Ages 9-26

One series of 3 vaccines

Breast Self-Exam

Ages 20 and over

Monthly

Pap Smear/Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) Testing

Ages 21-65

Every 3 years

STD Screenings

Ages 25 and over or starting when sexually active

Annually

Cholesterol Screening

Ages 20 and over

Every 5 years

Colorectal Cancer Screening

Ages 40 and over

Every 5 years

Physician Breast Exam

Ages 40 and over

Annually

Mammography

Ages 40 and over

Annually

Diabetes Screening

Ages 45 and over

Every 3 years

Osteoporosis Screening

65 and over or starting at menopause

Baseline testing with follow-up interval based on results

Dr. Jovana Spreitzer is new Obstetrician/Gynecologist with Fisher-Titus Women’s Health in Norwalk, Milan, and Wakeman. She is board certified by the American Osteopathic Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology and is trained and certified in Da Vinci robotic surgery. Dr. Spreitzer and the Women’s Health Team will be at the Fisher-Titus Women’s Health Fair on October 26. For more information about this event, follow @FisherTitusHealth on Facebook or visit fishertitus.org/upcoming-events.