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Well Woman Exams

Schedule a well-woman visit with your doctor or nurse every year. The well-woman visit is an important way to help you stay healthy.

Well-woman visits include a full checkup, separate from any other visit for sickness or injury. These visits focus on preventive care for women, which may include:

Services, like vaccines (shots), that improve your health by preventing diseases and other health problems

Screening tests, which are medical tests to check for diseases early when they may be easier to treat

Education and counseling to help you make informed health decisions

What happens during a well-woman visit?

Your well-woman visit is a chance to focus on your overall health and wellness. There are 3 main goals for the visit:

Documenting your health habits and history
Getting a physical exam
Setting health goals

What to Expect

Health habits and history
Before your physical exam, the doctor or nurse will ask you to answer some questions about your overall health. These questions may cover topics like your:

Medical history and family health history
Mental health history, including depression
Sexual activity and sexual partners
Eating and physical activity habits
Use of alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs
Use of any medicines, vitamins, minerals, or herbs
Home life and relationships
Physical exam

If you're comfortable with it, the doctor or nurse will examine your body, which may include:

Measuring your height and weight
Calculating your body mass index (BMI) to see if you're at a healthy weight
Checking your blood pressure
Taking your temperature
Doing a clinical breast exam (feeling your breasts and under your arms for lumps or other changes)
Doing a pelvic exam (looking at your vagina and feeling around your pelvis)

If you’re not comfortable being alone with the doctor or nurse during the physical exam, ask to have another health professional from the practice (like another nurse) in the room, too.

Health goals

You and the doctor or nurse will talk about next steps for helping you stay healthy. Together, you can decide which screenings or follow-up services are right for you.

If you have health goals, like losing weight or quitting smoking, you and your doctor or nurse can also make a plan to help you meet these goals.
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