What is a well woman visit and why it is important?
It is a designated time for you and your health care provider to discuss your reproductive health. It may also include an exam, screening tests, like a pap smear or blood work, and immunizations. If you have breasts, a uterus, and/or a vulva it is important to have this type of visit to check the physical organs, even if you do not identify as a woman.
A well woman visit can be important in different ways for different people, depending on their needs and stage of life. For young women, it may just be a discussion about periods and immunization for prevention of cervical cancer. For those who are sexually active, contraception and STD prevention will likely be discussed. Those thinking about starting a family might have a discussion about optimizing their health for conception and pregnancy. For those 21-65 the Pap test allows cervical cancer to be detected and treated before it causes problems.
For women over 40, getting a mammogram can help detect breast cancer earlier. Those approaching or facing menopause might discuss bone health, changes in their body, symptoms, and strategies to protect them from long term health risks. It may not be necessary to have an internal exam or breast exam every year. You can discuss with your doctor the risks and benefits.
A well woman visit is another important way to be proactive about your whole health. From an evolutionary stand point, one of the most important functions of our body is to reproduce. So, reproductive health can be an indicator for overall health and well-being.
It also is an opportunity to continue to build a good, honest relationship with the doctor. With unlimited access to your R-Health doctor, not only are you not pressured with remembering all your questions for a single visit, but no matter what is discussed, you’ll always get the time you need to fully understand and have your input applied to any course of action.