There are some health conditions that only affect women, and regular visits to a clinic can be important for ensuring feminine wellness . If you’re scheduled for an annual well woman exam at your local medical center near Atlanta, then watch this video to learn what you can expect during your clinic appointment.
Your doctor will use an instrument called a speculum to perform the exam, and vaginal and cervical swabs, which look like long Q-Tips, and a cervical brush will be used to collect samples from the vaginal wall and the cervix. You will undress from the waist down and cover yourself with a blanket for the exam, and then lie on your back on the exam table with your feet in stirrups. Finally, remember to breathe and relax while the exam is performed.
Doctors near Atlanta often treat patients who don’t know what to expect during a gynecologist checkup. If you haven’t been to the gynecologist in a while or are planning to make your first appointment, then watch this video to learn when you should see this type of doctor and what to expect at the medical center or clinic.
Anyone who is sexually active or over age 21 should see a gynecologist for a checkup annually. During your appointment, the doctor will examine your breasts for any abnormalities. To examine your cervix and perform a PAP smear, your gynecologist with insert a speculum into your vagina, use a cotton swab to clean your cervix, and then swab some cells for testing. Depending on your PAP smear results, you may be asked to return to the clinic for additional testing.
It is recommended that every adult woman, no matter her age, sexual activity, or current health status, visits a medical clinic to undergo a well-woman exam every year. The good news is that a walk-in clinic that offers adult physicals in Atlanta can provide these exams without an appointment, so you can fit this important check-up into your busy schedule. This video offers more information about the importance of annual well-woman exams.
Many conditions that affect the pelvic region may not cause noticeable symptoms, especially in the early—and most treatable—stages. However, a well-woman exam will allow your doctor to check for these conditions, even if you haven’t noticed any signs. During your well-woman exam, the family physician will also complete a breast exam, which can help to catch breast cancer in its early stages.
Well woman exams are a cornerstone of preventive medicine . Generally, women are advised to schedule a well woman exam with a family physician in Atlanta once per year. Little preparation is typically needed before your appointment at the clinic, but there are a few items you should bring and some facts you should know beforehand.
What to Bring
You should always bring your insurance card when you go to the clinic and it’s also a good idea to bring a list. Write down all of the medications you are currently taking, including their dosages. Your family physician will need to know about your prescribed medications, especially if another provider prescribed them, and any over-the-counter medicines that you regularly take. Include vitamins, supplements, diet pills, and similar products on this list. If you’ve experienced any bothersome side effects from prescribed medications, you can write these down too. Your doctor may be able to suggest alternatives or adjust your dosage. Additionally, wear comfortable clothes that are easy to change into and out of. You’ll likely be asked to change into a hospital gown for your exam.
What to Know
Well woman exams begin with a review of your personal and family medical history . You should know about any changes to either medical history before your appointment. If you’re close to your parents or siblings, consider calling them to ask after their health. Certain medical conditions run in families, so if, for example, your sister was diagnosed with hyperthyroidism, then your doctor might want to test you for that disorder. You should also be prepared to discuss any unusual changes you might have noticed with your health. Don’t be shy about discussing issues that seem to be minor annoyances because they might actually indicate medical problems. For instance, if you seem to be cold all the time while everyone else is warm, your doctor might test you for anemia.
What to Ask
Your annual exam is your opportunity to ask your doctor any questions you might have. You might ask if you should have any health screenings, such as whether it’s time for you to start having mammograms. Ask about having a screening for depression or tests for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). Your family physician is your partner in wellness; no health topic is off-limits and you can rest assured that your doctor will maintain strict confidentiality.
Chlamydia is one of the sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) that anonymous STD testing in Atlanta can check for. A simple STD test can confirm the presence of the bacterium that causes this disease, which is known as Chlamydia trachomatis. Both men and women can become infected with the bacteria during sexual intercourse. A baby may also become infected during childbirth if the mother has this STD. To protect your own health and the health of your sexual partners, see a family physician promptly if you suspect you might have chlamydia.
Many patients with chlamydia do not experience any symptoms from it. This is unfortunate because it can delay STD testing. When symptoms do occur, they typically develop within five to 10 days after transmission. Women can experience painful sexual intercourse, a low-grade fever, pain during urination, frequent urges to urinate, abdominal pain, and an unusual vaginal discharge. Men are even less likely than women to develop symptoms of chlamydia. Generally, those who do notice symptoms will feel pain or burning during urination. Men might also experience penile discharge, burning or itching at the opening of the penis, and occasionally pain and swelling of the testicles.
Getting tested for chlamydia is important because it can lead to complications if left untreated. Women may experience an infection of the uterus and fallopian tubes, which can cause pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). Consequently, PID can cause infertility, ectopic pregnancy, and chronic pelvic pain. It’s less common for men to experience complications, but male infertility can sometimes result. Reactive arthritis is a potential complication that can affect men and women. Infected babies may develop pneumonia or eye infections and they have a higher risk of premature birth.
Getting tested is a wise decision if you have a partner who has tested positive for an STD or if you develop possible symptoms of chlamydia. Pregnant women, regardless of risk factors, should be tested at the first prenatal care visit. This STD test may involve providing a urine sample. In female patients, the physician may use a sterile swab to collect samples of cells from the vagina.
Antibiotics are the standard course of treatment for chlamydia. Follow the dosage instructions carefully and take the full course of medications; never stop taking an antibiotic unless your doctor instructs you to do so or you have taken all of the pills. Avoid sex until the infection is completely cleared up.
An annual physical is a key part of preventative health care. Thanks to walk-in primary care in Atlanta, doctors are available for physicals on your schedule, making it easier than ever to get the care you need. If you are having an annual physical , should a well-woman exam be part of the process?
Well-woman exams are critical additions to annual physicals and STD testing. They address the health concerns that are unique to women that are not evaluated during a standard physical. During a well-woman exam, your doctor will perform a Pap smear for cervical cancer screening, address reproductive health issues and conduct a pelvic exam, and offer discrete STD testing. Often, doctors are able to diagnose health conditions in their early stages during well-woman exams, when they are most treatable. Combining your well-woman exam with your physical means you only have to make one visit to the medical clinic and that there is usually no additional co-pay.
It’s very important that women receive annual physical exams and health screenings from a doctor in Atlanta . A well-woman adult exam consists of a reproductive health evaluation, an initial cancer screening, and, if necessary, anonymous STD testing. Here is a look at the crucial elements of a woman’s physical exam at each age range.
Physical Exam and Health Screenings at Age 18-39
Between 18 and 39, you should visit a primary care physician at a health clinic yearly for an adult exam. If you’re over the age of 20 and at increased risk for heart disease, you should have your cholesterol tested yearly. If you’re sexually active or age 21 or over, you should get a pap smear or cervical cancer screening every 3-5 years. If you’re sexually active, pregnant, or at higher risk for STDs, you should ask your doctor about anonymous STD testing.
Physical Exam and Health Screenings at Age 40-49
Beginning at age 40, you should talk to your doctor about the need for a mammogram. You should also continue to get yearly physical exams, pap smears, and anonymous STD testing. You should ask your primary care physician about the necessity for regular diabetes testing and cholesterol and blood pressure monitoring.
Physical Exam and Health Screenings at Age 50-64
In addition to yearly adult exams, you should also undergo breast cancer screenings every two years. You should discuss your risk for osteoporosis and the need for a bone mineral density test with the doctor at your primary care center. Starting at age 50, you should get screened for colorectal cancer. You should also continue to get cholesterol, blood pressure, and diabetes screenings, as well as pap smears and anonymous STD testing
Physical Exam and Health Screenings at Age 65 and Older
At age 65 and older, you should receive annual physical exams and regular blood pressure, cholesterol, and diabetes screenings, as well as bone mineral density tests, colorectal cancer and breast cancer screenings, and anonymous STD testing. Ask your doctor if you need to continue undergoing pap smears.
Preventive wellness is important for every patient, young or old, male or female. Women are urged to become proactive about their wellness by establishing a good working relationship with an internal medicine doctor at a primary care center in Atlanta. At the clinic, women can undergo an annual adult physical , receive crucial health screenings, and become informed of health issues that may apply to them.
Heart health is a major concern for women, since heart disease is a leading cause of death. At a clinic, women can have their blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and weight evaluated by an internal medicine doctor. Along with the results of these screenings, the doctor can evaluate the patient’s personal and family medical histories to assess her risk of cardiovascular conditions. Women who are at risk of heart problems and those who already have these conditions can receive medical management services and lifestyle counseling to improve their wellness.
Diabetes is another serious concern for women, particularly for those who are pregnant or are thinking about becoming pregnant. A physician can check the patient’s blood glucose levels to determine if she is at risk of diabetes or gestational diabetes. Diabetes prevention is crucial for the health of women, expectant mothers, and their unborn children.
Internal medicine doctors generally agree that preconception health could be just as important as prenatal care. Since many pregnancies are unplanned, women who take a proactive approach to their wellness are more likely to have a healthy pregnancy. Preventive wellness also includes routine pelvic exams and Pap smears, which can allow primary care physicians to detect possible problems as soon as possible.
Even before a woman is ready to start having mammograms, she can receive regular breast health screenings from a primary care physician. An annual adult physical for women generally includes a breast exam, during which the doctor checks for abnormalities such as lumps and skin changes. Additionally, women can receive guidance on performing breast self-exams, which can promote early detection of breast cancer. The sooner breast cancer is detected and treated, the more favorable the outcome is likely to be.
When you visit a medical clinic in Atlanta for your annual adult physical, you’re taking an important step toward safeguarding your health. During your physical exam, your primary care physician will evaluate your blood pressure, heart rate, family medical history, and personal health concerns. He or she will consider whether your vital signs have changed over time and whether this change could indicate a medical issue or raise your risk of certain medical conditions. Additionally, your well-woman exam facilitates early detection of reproductive health issues .
Your primary care physician can conduct a pelvic exam to check for abnormalities. He or she can do a Pap test, which is a routine screening test that checks for pre-cancerous processes of the cervix. Your doctor can perform discreet testing for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), depending on your risk of STDs. If you plan to have children, your doctor can check for medical conditions that may interfere with your fertility. These issues might include uterine fibroids and endometriosis.
If it’s been a while since your last well-woman exam, it’s a good idea to ask your family doctor serving Atlanta when you should have a pelvic exam and Pap test. Generally, primary care physicians recommend that all women receive an annual pelvic exam beginning at age 21. When you visit the primary care clinic, you’ll be asked to change into a hospital gown and to lie on the exam table. First, the primary care physician will examine your external genitalia. Then, a speculum will be placed to allow the doctor to examine the cervix and vagina. Finally, a manual exam is performed to check the uterus, cervix, and other nearby structures for abnormalities.
When you watch this video, you’ll hear more about what happens during a routine pelvic exam, why a Pap test might be recommended, and how the Pap test is performed. This doctor also explains the current guidelines for Pap tests, pelvic exams, and HPV tests.
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