Undergoing preventive care, such as Pap tests or pelvic and breast exams, is important to maintaining good reproductive and general health. At Your Body by Design Medispa in Lanham, Maryland, Dr. Caryl G. Mussenden is proud to offer well-woman exams to improve the lives of her patients. If it’s time for your annual well-woman exam, call or schedule an appointment online today.
A well-woman exam is a fundamental way for women of all ages to protect their health. Dr. Mussenden uses this visit to discuss your overall health and lifestyle behaviors, and perform a physical examination of your pelvis and breasts.
These exams are done as preventive screenings for breast and gynecological diseases. A well-woman exam is also the perfect time for pre-pregnancy counseling.
Typically, your first well-woman exam will occur in your mid to late teenage years. Once you turn 21, Dr. Mussenden recommends a well-woman exam at least once a year.
Well-woman exams encompass many doctor-patient activities, but the specifics of the visit depend on your age and your sexual and medical history.
You can typically expect a regular physical examination, where Dr. Mussenden will check your weight, height, and blood pressure. If you’re sexually active, Dr. Mussenden may discuss STD testing or birth control options with you. Breast and pelvic exams are also conducted annually after the age of 21.
A Pap test, also known as a Pap smear, is an exam that tests for cervical cancer. Pap tests are recommended every three years after the age of 21.
An abnormal Pap test may indicate that you’re suffering from an infection or abnormal cells. An abnormal Pap test does not necessarily mean that you have cancer, but it may indicate that further testing is required.
A colposcopy is a procedure that Dr. Mussenden performs if the results of your Pap test come back as abnormal. A colposcopy uses a colposcope, a large electric microscope that enables Dr. Mussenden to examine your cervix more clearly and under magnification. This allows her to spot any abnormal areas.
Often during a well-woman exam, Dr. Mussenden tests for a number of STDs, including:
Another common STD is a BV infection. Bacterial vaginosis (BV) is an infection of the vagina caused by bacteria. Symptoms include greyish-white vaginal discharge and a fishy odor coming from the vagina.
Aside from your physical health, it’s important to feel comfortable enough to discuss your mental and emotional health with your doctor. Call today or schedule your well-woman exam online at Your Body by Design Medispa.