Well woman exams
What is a well-woman exam?
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.
What happens during a well-woman exam?
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.
What is a Pap test?
A Pap test, also known as a Pap smear, is an exam that tests for cervical cancer.
An abnormal Pap test may indicate that you’re suffering from an infection or there are abnormal cells. An abnormal Pap test does not necessarily mean that you have cancer, but it may indicate that further testing is required.
What is a colposcopy?
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.
What are the most common sexually transmitted diseases?
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 to schedule your well-woman exam.