What Is A Well-Woman Exam?
A well-woman exam provides an excellent opportunity to counsel patients about maintaining a healthy lifestyle and minimizing health risks. Women begin having Pap smears around age 21. This screening checks abnormal cells that indicate a potential for cervical cancer. Pap smears are repeated every three years until age 29, provided no abnormalities are found.
Women older than 30 benefits from testing for the human papillomavirus (HPV) and a pap smear. Some strains of HPV, a common sexually transmitted disease (STD), are known to cause cervical cancer.
During the pap smear, your provider uses a swab or brush to collect cells from the surface of your cervix gently. You may feel a little pressure, but the test is quick and not painful. The sample of cells is sent to the lab for evaluation. You should get results in a few days.
Your well-woman exam is also time for you to raise any questions you may have about your menstrual cycle, birth control, STDs, menopause, or unusual symptoms.
If you are due or overdue for a well-woman exam, call ShineMed Primary Care to schedule. We're here to help you take care of your gynecological health and well-being.