An annual exam by your OB/GYN can identify any underlying health issues and treat them if necessary. In particular, this “well-woman exam” is done to determine the health of your reproductive organs, including your breasts and your reproductive system (cervix, ovaries, fallopian tubes, vagina, and uterus).
The doctor will likely perform a Pap smear to check for any signs of cervical cancer, manually check your breasts for any detectable lumps, and perform other checks as necessary. Your OB/GYN may also test you for STDs (sexually transmitted diseases), especially if you are sexually active and not in a monogamous relationship, or if you’re looking to start a family.
Knowing how to prepare for your annual exam isn’t always obvious or intuitive. Indeed, you will “just show up,” but there are several factors to consider when scheduling and getting ready for your appointment. Let’s talk about some of the key factors involved in getting the most of your annual OB/GYN appointment, and where you can go in DeKalb County for world-class gynecology and obstetrical care.
Schedule Your Appointment Between Menstrual Cycles
Your annual gynecological exam will also involve a pelvic exam, so period blood will interfere with your gynecologist’s ability to get clean cells to test for your Pap smear. Therefore, be sure to schedule your annual exam between your menstrual periods. It is a good idea to have your calendar in front of you and know which dates are “open” and which to avoid when talking with the scheduler.
Write Down Your Questions and Concerns
It’s easy to forget all the questions you want to ask your gynecologist. We all think we’ll easily remember things, but once you’re in the office and trying to not waste the doctor’s time, you’re likely to lose track of what you want to ask about.
Write down all of your questions or concerns on a piece of paper, and keep it in your purse for the day of your OB/GYN appointment. You may be temped to keep them on your phone, but that can be awkward when you are in the exam room, fumbling for your phone when you’re not even fully dressed!
You will want to let the gynecologist know about any of the following health issues you may have noticed:
- Abnormal bleeding
- Unusual discharge (especially from breasts or vagina)
- Itching of reproductive organs
Catalog Your Medical History
A lot may have changed, health-wise, since your last annual exam with your gynecologist. Tell your doctor if you’ve received a new diagnosis, had any illnesses, had surgery, or gotten a vaccine over the previous year.
Well-Woman Annual Exam in Decatur, Stonecrest, and Stone Mountain, GA
Here at Dekalb Women’s Specialists Gynecological & Obstetrical Care, our skilled and talented OB/GYN providers will offer you compassionate care and support of your overall health. We take a patient-centered approach to women’s healthcare, and we are here for you at every stage of your life.
To find out more or to schedule an appointment, call us today at (404) 508-2000, or you can book an appointment via our online form now. We have convenient offices in Decatur, Stonecrest, and Stone Mountain, Georgia, and we look forward to seeing you here!