Many of the conditions that affect women’s health can be present without any obvious signs. Because of this, annual gynecology exams are one of the best ways a woman can keep tabs on her health. An annual GYN exam can catch critical risks and lead to improved health through preventive maintenance.
If you are considering scheduling a gynecology exam, it can be helpful to know what to expect. Your health is personal and you deserve to be fully informed. Below we’ve laid out what an annual GYN exam consists of so you can schedule your next appointment with clarity and comfort.
What to expect
The exam starts with your provider collecting a comprehensive medical history including your family history. Vital signs like your blood pressure, heart rate, height, and weight will be measured. You will also be asked about your periods, pregnancy history, sexual activity, contraception needs, history of GYN problems, history of GYN surgeries, and any current symptoms you are having.
Your provider will listen to your heart and lungs, feel the thyroid gland in your throat, and feel your abdomen. You will also have a breast and pelvic exam. The pelvic exam consists of three parts: an external examination of the vulva, an internal examination of the vagina and cervix with a speculum, and an examination of the uterus and ovaries with a gloved hand. During the speculum exam, cells may be gently brushed from the cervix and sent to the laboratory for examination; this is a Pap smear. The exam will also focus on evaluating any symptoms you may be experiencing. If you find the pelvic exam extremely uncomfortable or anxiety-provoking, tell your provider as they would want to try to improve your experience in any way possible.
Finally, you and your provider will discuss ways to improve your health including lifestyle changes, screening tests, or vaccinations based on your age or other risk factors.
Schedule an Appointment with Raleigh Gynecology & Wellness
Annual GYN exams are important to overall health and preventative maintenance. In some cases, they can be lifesaving. If you are a woman over the age of 21, it is recommended you schedule a full GYN exam annually. While it can sound overwhelming, the reality is that the right gynecologist can make an annual exam quick, painless, and insightful.
Our medical staff is here to help you get the care you need in a setting that is comfortable. At Raleigh Gynecology, we strive to make our patients feel comfortable and heard while we provide care. We help patients understand the full benefits of an annual GYN exam. Be proactive about your health and schedule an appointment with Raleigh Gynecology & Wellness today.