To stay well, everyone is encouraged to visit their primary care physician every year for an annual check-up. For women, this check-up looks a little different. It's an opportunity to meet with your doctor and learn about your body. During this visit with a gynecologist or primary care physician, you’ll receive all your recommended screenings, from Pap smears to blood pressure tests.
Your well-woman exam can be a chance for you to really take care of yourself and learn about your health. Make the most out of your appointment with these tips.
Ask All of Those Questions
Your well-woman exam is a time where you get your doctor all to yourself. If you have any questions about your health, now is the time to ask. Whether you want to know how to eat better, or better understand your risk for health conditions, feel comfortable asking away.
Making a note of all your questions before your appointment is a great way to be sure you don’t forget anything.
Bring Up Any Concerns
Along with questions, your appointment is time to bring up concerns. If you have abnormal bleeding, pains or aches, or have concerns about your mental health, always mention these issues to your physician. Remember, your physician wants you to have the best health possible. If they don’t know you are having trouble, they can’t help.
Keep an Open Mind
During your well-woman visit, your doctor may give you some hard-to-hear advice, such as asking you to quit smoking or to lose weight. Try to remember that when your doctor gives advice, they aren’t judging you. Everyone has health challenges; your doctor just wants to help you overcome yours.
It’s perfectly appropriate to ask for resources and support to achieve your health goals and for insight as to why they are important to your health. Improving your health can be difficult, so support from your doctor, and better understanding what’s at stake, can help you find the motivation to make big changes.
To give you the best care, your doctor needs to know your family history, any problems you’re having and details about your lifestyle. Though you may feel like you need more exercise or could eat better, you don’t need to be embarrassed. Your doctor understands and can help.
Being honest about your family history also helps your doctor better assess your health risks. For instance, if you have a strong family history of heart problems, your doctor may want to check your cholesterol more often or encourage you to exercise regularly. Your risks affect what care is right for you.
Attend Follow-Up Appointments
Not all issues can be taken care of during a well-woman exam. If your doctor wants you to do any follow-up testing, always attend these appointments. Remember, the point of the well-woman exam is to spot problems early. If you miss follow-up exams, you may miss out on an important diagnosis.
Comprehensive Care for Your Whole Health
The women’s health experts at AdventHealth care for women of all ages and in all stages of life. Whether you’re dealing with menopause or want to start a family, our compassionate team is here to help you achieve your health goals at any life stage and any state of health.