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Annual Exams

As a teenager you are generally under the care of your family physician and a visit to the gynecologist is necessary only when a menstrual problem exists or a pregnancy occurs. A milestone for any woman, at age 18 your lives change in several ways – graduation from high school, living away from your family for the first time and actively participating in the health and well-being of your body. At age 18, an annual gynecological exam should be part of your health care program just like getting your teeth cleaned. And just like a visit to the dentist, this exam is usually provided for by your insurance company.

A well-woman exam is the best way to detect significant changes in your body’s systems including reproductive, mammary, urological and bone structure. The following outlines will give you an idea of what to expect at your annual exam during each stage of your life. Please keep in mind that all women are unique and exams may be tailored specifically to your needs.

Age 18-39

An exam will include:

Height and weight measurement
Blood pressure and urinalysis
Pelvic and breast exams
PAP Smear
Birth control (if desired)

During this age range you should schedule a compete battery of blood work including a cholesterol screening. If you are at risk for breast cancer, you may need a baseline mammogram at age 35.

Age 40-64

Height and weight measurement
Blood pressure and urinalysis
Neck and skin exams
Pelvic and breast exams
Abdominal and rectal exams
PAP Smear
Mammogram

During this age range you should plan to have blood work, including a cholesterol screening, done every three to five years, depending upon your medical history. If you are 50 or older you should inquire about the benefits
of a bone densitometry test.

Age 65 and older

Height and weight measurement
Blood pressure and urinalysis
Neck and skin exams
Thyroid testing
Pelvic and breast exams
Abdominal and rectal exams
PAP Smear
Mammogram

During this age range you should plan to have blood work, including a cholesterol screening, done every three to five years, depending upon your medical history. If you are 50 or older you should inquire about the benefits
of a bone densitometry test.