In addition to managing reproductive health care, Advanced Women’s Healthcare provides preventative health services for women.
National Women’s Check Up Day is May 13 of each year. In honor of this important day, we’re reminding women that a well-woman visit is an excellent opportunity for doctors to counsel their patients about maintaining a healthy lifestyle and minimizing health risks. Plus, it’s a great time for patients to bring up concerns, get prescriptions refilled and continue their relationship with their healthcare provider. AWH recommends scheduling yearly well-women visits for these reasons and many more.
According to the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecologists, a 2015 study that examined the preferred and usual source of reproductive health care (including cervical cancer screening, contraception, and sexually transmitted infection services) showed that women’s health care specialists (including obstetrician–gynecologists and family planning clinics) were the most used, and often the preferred, source of care compared with family medicine, internal medicine and general medicine clinicians (Source).
What Can You Expect at Your Well-Woman Exam?
Depending on your age, your doctor will recommend certain age-appropriate tests and procedures during your visit. Visit this ACOG page to see some of the specific tests and screenings your doctor might recommend for you based on age. Your doctor will likely discuss the following with you:
- Laboratory and other tests
- Evaluation and counseling
Your well-woman visit can also include:
- Discussions about medical history, family health history, sexual activity, diet, exercise, use of alcohol or drugs and health topics relevant to a patient’s age or risk factors
- Pelvic examination
- Breast exam
- Possibly a Pap test. (This blog post offers more information on which patients need pap tests and how often.)
- Creation of wellness plans and health goals
- Discussions about AWH services that meet patients’ health goals, including the Advanced Women’s Center for Wellness
What is a Pap Test?
A Pap test is a procedure to test for cervical cancer in women. This simple procedure involves collecting cells from a woman’s cervix — the lower, narrow end of the uterus that’s at the top of the vagina.
According to ACOG, the incidence of cervical cancer in the United States has decreased by more than 50% in the past 30 years because of widespread screening with cervical cytology, including the Pap test.
Detecting cervical cancer early with a Pap test gives women a greater chance at a cure.
What Do You Need to Bring To Your Well-Woman Appointment?
- Health and immunization records
- Concerns about your health
- A list of changes in lifestyle, such as exercise, diet, drugs and alcohol
- Health journals
- List of medications
- Name and phone number of pharmacy
Does Medicare Cover Wellness Exams and Paps?
If you are enrolled in a PPO or HMO health insurance plan, your annual preventative well-woman exams are typically covered at 100% by your insurance company once a year if you see an In-Network doctor. Yearly Wellness visits are also covered 100% by Medicare Part B.
As stated by the ACOG, 0bstetrician–gynecologists can play a critical role in engaging patients in shared decision making, encouraging and facilitating healthy behaviors, and counseling about a wide array of effective preventive health practices.
Make your well-woman appointment today, and let AWH help you live your best life.