Well-woman office visits are designed to help women maintain optimal health as they age, and as their medical and health need change over time. A well-woman visit serves essentially the same function as a physical exam, but it's custom-tailored for a woman's unique needs. Women's health needs can vary significantly from those of men, and have a doctor who understands those unique needs is an important tool in optimizing your health, especially as you age. Well-isits also often include recommendations for health screenings and tests to help identify diseases and disease risk factors so you can stay as healthy as possible.
First, a complete medical history will be taken to look for risk factors for diseases and to keep an accurate record of any diseases or treatments you may have had, as well as any medications or supplements you're currently taking. Your weight and blood pressure will be measured and recorded, and depending on your age, you may be asked about your menstrual cycle or menopause symptoms, and birth control may also be discussed. You may have a pelvic exam with a Pap test as well as a clinical breast exam. Urinalysis, blood tests or other lab work may be ordered based on your age, any symptoms you may be experiencing, chronic conditions you may have and other factors. And of course, you will have plenty of opportunities to ask questions or discuss your health-related concerns.
You should have a well-woman visit every year to keep track of any subtle changes that could indicate an underlying medical condition in need of treatment. Annual exams can also ensure you receive medical screenings as recommended to help you maintain good health as you get older.