Your regular women’s wellness visit is an important aspect of your overall healthcare. It’s a full check-up — usually once a year — separate from any other physical exam or appointment to address injury or illness. We want to be sure you’re feeling empowered to make it a regular part of your preventive plan and something you’re ready to tackle annually.
This is the wellness visit you’ve likely heard referred to as an annual exam, pelvic exam, pap, or gynecology visit. Yep, that’s the one. If you have a uterus, vulva, and breasts, it’s important to get this one on your calendar (and checked off your to-do list).
It’s important not to push these appointments to the wayside. Not only can your healthcare provider help you make informed decisions about your sexual and reproductive health, but it’s a time to screen for cancers and other diseases.
What to expect at women’s wellness visit:
Each women’s wellness visit is a little different depending on age, sexual history, and medical history. What doesn’t change? Being able to have an open, supportive conversation with your care provider so you can stay informed and make decisions for your best health.
Questions your physician might ask during your wellness visit:
We encourage you to ask any questions that are on your mind during this exam. While you’re on the table, nothing is off the table. Should this hurt? Should that smell? Should I get checked for this STD?
Do: Have an open conversation with your provider about how you’re feeling emotionally. Be open about whether or not you’re sexually active. Share your concerns about anything that feels abnormal. Your provider is here for you through your wellness journey, and they can provide the best care possible when you’re an open book.
Do: Make an appointment to check in with your provider even if you have breasts and/or a vagina, but you don’t identify as a woman. We’re here for your holistic health, and provide a safe place to ensure your individual care.
Don’t: Don’t blow off these appointments. They’re usually quick and painless. Plus, it’s empowering to know you’re giving your body the attention it deserves.