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The Importance of Having an Annual Well Woman Exam

The Importance of Having an Annual Well Woman Exam

While both sexes deal with many health challenges over a lifetime, women have to navigate specific issues due to differences in anatomy, reproductive function, and body chemistry. 

As a woman, you’re more likely to suffer from depression, are more sensitive to pain, and are more affected by alcohol, which has an impact on your fertility. You’re also more prone to dying from heart attacks, but less likely to die from cancer.

Unique health challenges are all the more reason to see your doctor for an annual well woman exam, as it helps your medical team gauge your risks of health problems and allows for prevention and treatment in a timely fashion. 

If you live in the Lake Mary, Florida, area and you’re due for a well woman exam, OB/GYN Dr. Christopher Quinsey and our experienced medical team can help.

Let’s explore the benefits of exams and screening by looking at how your body changes over time, what these visits can do to help, and what to expect.

How your body changes over time

Your body grew rapidly during your childhood years, but once puberty hit, the changes became more directed at hormonal development, which affects your reproductive system for the rest of your life. 

This means the development of sexual characteristics (growing breasts, widening hips, hair growth, and full reproductive development) and the start of your menstrual cycle.

After puberty, menstruation and childbearing years remain active until your 40s or 50s, when that part of the journey is done and menopause begins. 

As your hormonal production slows and eventually stops, your body experiences changes that increase your risk of several conditions, including osteoporosis, urinary tract infections, short-term memory issues, and various types of prolapse (uterine, vaginal or rectal). 

How well woman exams help as you age

These examinations are designed to cover all of the basics of a physical to gauge your general health and check issues with your reproductive system. The combination allows us a window into your total health and makes it easier to detect changes or an increase in the risks of disease as they happen.

These can also be very helpful to assess things if you’re planning on having children, are otherwise sexually active, or are going through the stages of menopause. 

Depending on what Dr. Quinsey finds, he may recommend additional visits throughout the year to monitor your health.

What to expect from a well woman visit

As indicated above, the essential parts of a standard physical for both sexes, which check for general health conditions are a part of the exam, but well woman visits also focus on breast exams, pelvic screenings, Pap smears, and any changes in these areas year over year to make sure there aren’t any abnormalities. 

Your well woman exam can help us check for conditions like:

We also consider your medical history and collect vital information on any prior medical conditions, current medications, allergies, sexual history, and your goals for starting a family. All of these considerations affect how we proceed with screenings and exams.

Annual visits allow for regular checks on health changes and for prevention and treatment of conditions you may be at risk for. If you’re ready for your next exam, make an appointment with Dr. Quinsey and our team today.

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