What is a Wellness Exam?

A wellness exam, also called a well-woman exam, is an office visit centered around reproductive health. This includes the health of your vagina, uterus, cervix, and breasts. Wellness exams typically include a physical exam, pap smear, pelvic exam, and breast exam and are important because they can catch early signs of health problems or cancer before they progress. It is recommended that women schedule their first wellness exam when they become sexually active, or when they turn 21 years old.

What to Expect During a Wellness Exam

A wellness exam will begin like any other doctor’s appointment, including filling out paperwork regarding your health, family medical history, and medications. Your height, weight, and blood pressure will be taken, and we may ask some follow-up questions about your intake paperwork. Your doctor will then perform a physical exam, breast exam, pelvic exam, and pap smear.

Physical Exam

A physical exam involves checking your vital signs, lungs, heartbeat, head, neck, and abdomen, as well as your reflexes. Blood work or a urine sample is also sometimes performed. Your doctor will review your medical history and speak with you regarding any current health issues.

Breast Exam

Breast exams are performed to help detect early signs of breast cancer. During this exam, your doctor will look and feel for lumps, bumps, or other irregularities in your breasts. They may also show you how to perform a self-breast exam, which should be done monthly to check for changes in the breasts.

Pelvic Exam

Pelvic exams are performed so your doctor can evaluate your reproductive organs. This process only takes a few minutes, during which your doctor will check your vulva, vagina, cervix, ovaries, uterus, rectum, and pelvis for any abnormalities. If you are under the age of 21, you may need a pelvic exam if you are experiencing vaginal discharge, menstrual irregularities, or pelvic pain.

Pap Smear

A pap smear is performed to detect early signs of cervical cancer. During this exam, a speculum will be placed and your doctor will insert a small brush to collect a tissue sample from the cervix. While this exam should not be painful, you may feel brief discomfort or a pinching feeling. Women who are 21 years or older, or those who are sexually active, should have a pap smear performed every other year.

Schedule a Consultation

To learn more about how our health and wellness services can help you, please contact us today. We will be happy to schedule a consultation with one of our experienced providers at your convenience. Call 480-425-8700.