Routine and Yearly Exams
At OB/GYN Associates of Lancaster, we know that the best way to prevent serious health issues down the road is to make sure that you have your routine and yearly exams so that we can keep track of your health care from the start.
Preventive health care is designed to make sure that you remain healthy inside and out. As a woman, it’s one of the most empowering actions you can take to not only prevent future health problems from developing but also to detect current issues as well. It is designed to be the foundation for building a lifetime of health and wellness.
When should I come in for my first exam?
You should come in to start your routine and yearly gynecological exams beginning at age 21 or within three years of when you become sexually active. We specialize in pediatric and adolescent gynecology, understanding that starting your life in the healthiest way possible is the best way to live life to its fullest.
When you come in for your exam, we’ll discuss topics surrounding your health and family history that are relevant to your age and potential risk factors. With this information in hand, we’ll help you get started on a lifetime of great health!
What can I expect during my routine and yearly exams?
During your routine appointment, we’ll check your overall health, body weight, and blood pressure, and ask you about any health issues or challenges you may be facing. Since one of the key benefits of having your yearly checkup is the early detection of future issues, we’ll walk you through a number of screening tests.
Your exam will include:
- Screening tests.
- Ovarian cancer screening.
- Breast cancer screening.
- Pap smears and cervical cancer screening.
- Osteoporosis screening, prevention, diagnosis, and treatment.
In addition to screening tests, your routing exam will consist of specific items.
Breast Cancer Screening
As part of your appointment, your doctor will check your breasts to see if there are lumps or other signs of potential problems. Screening mammograms are used in addition to physical exams, making sure that you are evaluated for breast cancer and other issues. We’ll show you how you can perform your monthly self-examinations as well.
To assess the health and condition of your vagina, cervix, and reproductive organs, our practitioner will perform a pelvic exam. Using a tool called a speculum and other manual techniques, your doctor will examine you for any signs of trouble. While the pelvic exam may feel uncomfortable to some, it doesn’t hurt.
Pap Smears and Cervical Cancer Screening
A key part of the exam is to make sure that everything is functioning as it should, and that you are screened for cervical cancer and other potential problems. A pap smear is used to look for abnormal cells in the cervix that could be an indicator of cancer. The process is simple – your doctor will insert a small, cotton-tipped swab past the vagina and into the cervix.
Cells attach to the swab and are sent to the lab for analysis. The pap smear is painless and according to the National Cancer Institute, critical to early detection.
Ovarian Cancer Screening
While it is unknown what causes ovarian cancer, we know what symptoms to keep an eye out for and check on those during your routine exam.
Some symptoms of ovarian cancer include pain in the pelvis or belly, frequent, recent bloating, trouble eating, and urinary problems. Your doctor will discuss with you any of these symptoms that you may be experiencing and see if further testing is needed.
Do you provide adolescent gynecology and counseling?
We specialize in pediatric and adolescent gynecology, understanding that starting your life in the healthiest way possible is the best way to live life to its fullest.
We understand that the changes your body goes through when you enter adolescence can be confusing, so we approach adolescent gynecology with compassion, warmth, and understanding. We’ll discuss what you can expect as you mature and recommend how you can be at your best. Topics could include bodily changes, sexual health, HPV vaccination, and other important issues.
Osteoporosis Screening, Prevention, Diagnosis, and Treatment
As you get older, you may start to experience osteoporosis, a condition that puts women at an increased risk of fracturing or breaking a bone due to reduced bone strength. While an increased risk of osteoporosis occurs in older women, the signs and symptoms become apparent in women younger than 65 years.
Risk factors for osteoporosis include gender, age, race, and family history. Women’s bones tend to be smaller and more susceptible to degeneration due to the hormonal changes caused by menopause. If menopause begins at age 50, you may experience the most loss of bone between the ages of 51 and 58.
By understanding your overall health and family history, we are in the best position possible to screen for and to treat osteoporosis.
If you have any questions about routine and yearly examinations feel free to contact our office via phone, email, or schedule an appointment online.