Women have a distinct set of health needs, and annual well-woman exams are the best setting to meet those needs and support your overall health and wellness. For those in Houston and Katy, Texas, the care of Jennifer Gwozdz, MD, and the team at Family Clinic is an excellent resource for well-woman exams and many other health care needs. There’s never a need to book an appointment, so stop by today for a comprehensive well-woman exam.
A well-woman exam is a routine checkup focused on women’s health needs. Annual well-woman exams should be part of your overall health and wellness plan. These visits are an opportunity to get the screenings and education you need to stay healthy and are also a chance to adjust your birth control, discuss fertility, and evaluate your risk for gynecologic cancer and many other women’s health issues.
Most women should have a well-woman exam each year. If you have an ongoing health issue like endometriosis, polycystic ovary syndrome, or hormonal changes, you may need to schedule additional visits.
Much like a routine physical exam, the process begins with a discussion about your overall health and any changes you’ve noticed since your last exam. Next, a pelvic exam allows your provider to check for signs of vaginal or cervical tissue abnormalities.
A breast exam is also part of the process. This is not only a chance to receive a professional check for breast tissue changes, but it’s also a great way for you to learn the technique and degree of pressure needed to complete your own breast self-exams at home.
Pap smear testing is a central component of a well-woman exam. This straightforward screening tool is the primary means of detecting cervical cancer. In fact, in the years since Pap smear testing became part of routine well-woman care, cervical cancer deaths have steeply declined.
A Pap smear is performed during your pelvic exam and takes just a few moments. Dr. Gwozdz uses a medical brush or spatula to collect a sample of cells from your cervix. Those cells are sent to a lab where they are checked under a microscope for signs of abnormal changes that could indicate cervical cancer.
Your results will come back within a week or so. If the results are abnormal, you’ll be contacted to discuss your next steps.
Your exams will change as you move through the phases of life. For example, younger women often have questions about their birth control options. Testing for sexually transmitted diseases is also available.
Later in life, you may want more information about preparing for pregnancy. You might also want to try a new form of birth control that aligns better with your lifestyle. Screenings are available for anemia, thyroid function, and many other medical issues.
Older women may focus on the menopause transition during their well-woman exams. Your provider can help you navigate the symptoms of menopause and explain your treatment options.
If you’re overdue for a well-woman exam, simply stop by Family Clinic at your earliest convenience. Taking care of this essential health need should rank near the top of your ever-growing to-do list.