It’s important to pay close attention to your gynecological health over time. That is why routine, preventative appointments are an essential feature of Dr. Chavira’s Phoenix OB/GYN practice. He supports his patients with compassion and expert experience through all life stages. Well-woman exams in particular are a form of preventative care that can promote healthy living, detect potential issues, and prevent serious diseases and infections. This is what you can expect.
What are well-woman exams?
Well-woman exams are routine appointments to monitor your gynecological health. They serve as an opportunity for screening, evaluation, counseling, and immunizations (if appropriate). Furthermore, it’s a way to discuss questions and concerns about your gynecological health in a safe and comfortable setting.
Well-woman exams will differ from person to person depending on their age. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists supplies recommendations on screening and testing based on four different life categories. Nearly every category recommends screening for cervical cancer and other serious infections, as well as breast exams.
Early detection is your best defense for these potential health conditions. For example, the chance of successful treatment of cervical cancer is very high if it is caught early.
In addition, for women in their childbearing years, these appointments are a great way to ensure that your reproductive system is in good condition. Whether you’re currently trying to conceive or hope to in the future, they will help you feel confident in your health. They’re also a chance for you to talk to your doctor if you wish to postpone pregnancy. If you’re struggling with irregular or painful periods, you can find ways to manage these, too.
As you age, more questions and concerns can also arise as you enter menopause. Many women experience unpleasant symptoms, such as hot flashes and mood changes. Dr. Chavira can help you navigate these phases.
What can I expect?
Regardless of age, every well-woman exam will include a brief discussion about your medical history, lifestyle, and any questions that prompted you to make an appointment. This is your chance to talk with Dr. Chavira about your reproductive health and other gynecological concerns you may have. It’s important to be open and honest about unusual symptoms or issues you may be experiencing.
From there, a Pap test (also known as a Pap smear) is commonly done for women between the ages of 21 and 65. Cells are taken from your cervix and this sample is sent to a laboratory to test for abnormal cells that could lead to cervical cancer or sexually transmitted infections. Every case is different, but most patients should have a Pap test done every two to three years.
You’ll also have a breast exam done. This is especially important if you have a history of breast cancer in your family. Your doctor will check for lumps or abnormalities that could indicate an underlying issue. It’s important to note that you should also routinely check your breasts at home, typically on a monthly basis. If you’re unsure about anything, contact a doctor right away.
Finally, your well-woman exam is a great time to discuss any questions you have about family planning. If you and your spouse are trying to conceive, Dr. Chavira can provide important guidance that may increase your chances of becoming pregnant. If you’re struggling to become pregnant, Dr. Chavira may recommend fertility testing. He can discuss the various ways to detect and correct issues that may arise when you are trying to conceive.
On the other hand, if you’re trying to postpone pregnancy, Dr. Chavira can instruct you on how to track your cycle using natural family planning (NFP). This involves tracking several different metrics, like your menstrual cycle and bodily temperature, to allow you to accurately determine when you are in your fertile window. That way, you can choose to abstain from sexual intercourse during this time.
Schedule your well-woman exam
Dr. William Chavira prides himself in taking a compassionate approach to every woman’s care. Through open dialogue and careful screening, your well-woman exam is an opportunity to protect your health and wellbeing for years to come.
Whether you have a specific concern or want to be proactive about your health, Dr. Chavira can help. If you’re looking for a gynecologist in Phoenix, schedule your well-woman exam today.