What happens during your Well-Woman annual Ob/Gyn exam?
We think that women who dread their annual exam simply haven’t yet found the right NYC Ob/Gyn. Your annual Well-Woman ObGyn exam at Viva Eve is nothing to fear, dread, or worry about. Consider it one of the healthiest things you can do for yourself because it enables your NYC ObGyn to catch potential problems before you actually begin experiencing symptoms. Early detection drastically improves your chances of dealing with serious medical conditions successfully. An annual NYC ObGyn exam is a necessary part of being a woman.
Viva Eve’s Well-Woman Annual Ob/Gyn NYC Exam is not just a checkmark, it is an important opportunity for a real conversation with your doctor that will help you not just get healthy, but stay healthy.
Your expert NYC Ob/Gyn who is part of the Viva integrated specialty practice is both an obstetrician (a doctor who specializes in pregnancy and childbirth) and a gynecologist (a doctor who specializes in a woman’s reproductive system). Just as women’s healthcare needs change as they age, their annual well-woman Ob/Gyn exams change too. Here’s a breakdown of what to expect during your next annual visit with your Ob/Gyn based on your age:
The early years: Ages 15 to 21
Viva Eve’s NYC Ob/Gyns recommend that young women start having an annual visit with an Ob/Gyn around age 15. Some parents don’t think it is necessary to bring their daughter to the Ob/Gyn and some young girls are nervous about the visit. We think that these years are important for a young woman to get comfortable with an NYC Ob/Gyn they can trust. At this age, the visit is usually more of a conversation about their overall health, birth control and sexually transmitted diseases for young women who are sexually active. At this age it is more of a conversation than an exam. In most cases, a pelvic exam is not necessary.
Reproductive years: early 20s to mid-40s
Starting at this stage in life, the annual exam includes a pelvic exam and a breast exam. We will check for abnormalities, such as lumps or painful areas, uterine fibroids, and talk with you about any concern you might have (like benign but annoying conditions, such as UTIs, bacterial vaginosis, yeast infections, etc.).
We will also check your blood pressure and body mass index (BMI), talk about nutrition, exercise, and weight management to help reduce your risk for Type 2 diabetes, and certain cancers down the line. The large number of patients in this age group are interested in or becoming pregnant.
During the visit we will talk about birth control, fertility options, fertility planning, and what may work best for you, your lifestyle, and stage of life.
Perimenopause and menopause: mid 40s to 50s
The average age of menopause is 50 to 52. At this stage in life, many women might be having irregular or heavy periods. Their hormones may be fluctuating, leading to typical menopause symptoms, such as night sweats, mood swings, and hot flashes.
This is also the age when most women need to start getting mammograms (link to the new Breast health page). The 2015 American Cancer Society (ACS) guidelines suggest that women start getting annual mammograms at age 45 instead of age 40. This change is controversial among doctors and patients. The American Congress of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ACOG) recommends that women start mammograms at age 40. Your NYC Ob/Gyn will make a recommendation based on your specific circumstances, like family history, the age any of your close female relatives were diagnosed, etc.
Age 55 and onward
In this age range, women often encounter more issues with hormone changes. Vaginal dryness and decreased sexual desire often become problems, so your NYC Ob/Gyn will discuss the treatment for these issues, including counseling, if needed. As you age, your doctor may reduce your exams to every two years. But once a year is still the golden standard. You should prepare a list of all the questions you have for your OB/GYN in advance. This helps you to be better prepared and more comfortable.
Your NYC Ob/Gyn visits should start well before family planning and should not end after the reproductive years. It’s vital for women to pay attention to their health needs to promote wellness through all stages of life.
Before Your Visit
Try to schedule your annual Ob/Gyn exam between your menstrual cycles because menstruation can interfere with your exam or any tests that are conducted. Do not have intercourse or insert anything — douches, tampons, etc. — into your vagina for at least 24 hours prior to your visit. These activities and products may irritate your vaginal tissue and increase the likelihood of incorrect Pap smear or lab results.
Also, be aware of the dates of your menstruation because your NYC Ob/Gyn is sure to inquire about when your last period was and how long it lasted. Your doctor may also ask questions about your sexual activity and any previous pregnancies. These questions aren’t meant to make you feel uncomfortable or invade your privacy, but to provide you with the best care for your individual needs.
Know What to Expect
The NYC Ob/Gyn exam procedure is nothing to be afraid of. During your pelvic exam, your doctor inspects your internal and external genitalia. Using the bathroom prior to your exam can make you more comfortable. Remember that any anxiety you experience is normal. But you can be confident that your Viva Eve NYC OB/GYN will do everything he or she can to make you feel as comfortable as possible. Typically, your pelvic exam takes just a few minutes.
The purpose of your breast exam (link to the new Breast health page) is to check your breast tissue for any lumps or irregularities. Your doctor makes gentle motions on your breast that almost feel like a massage. This also only takes about a minute per breast. If you experience pain or discomfort during your breast exam, be sure to let your NYC Ob/Gyn know immediately. Your doctor also provides instructions for you to conduct self-exams between your annual Ob/Gyn exams.
Too Important to Ignore
Some women dread their annual GYN exam, but medical appointments are not just important when you are sick. Regular visits and check-ups enable your doctor to catch potential problems before you begin having any symptoms. Early detection drastically increases your chances of dealing with serious medical conditions successfully.
By relying on your trusted NYC Ob/Gyn to recommend the best treatments for any conditions that come to light during your annual exam, you know that you are doing everything you can to maintain your health and well-being.
Our expert NYC women’s health specialists are committed to staying current with the latest advances and technology, so you can feel confident that you’re getting the highest level of care available.Today, we offer virtually every women’s health service you may need, including many in-office tests and treatments.
Our goal is to be your trusted health advisor for each stage of your life.