If you’re sexually active, you may talk about birth control or STD screening. After age 21, you will need regular pelvic exams, Pap smears, and breast examinations. Later, your visits will include mammograms. You will also be asked when your last period was, how often you have periods and how long they last, if you bleed or spot between periods, if you experience pain or itching from your vagina, or if you have any other health conditions. You will also be asked if you are sexually active, if you are using birth control, if sex is painful, and what preventative measures you take against STDs.
Clinical breast exams can detect any lumps or abnormalities in your breast. If these require more testing, your healthcare provider may give you a referral. Breast exams are one of the most important early breast cancer screenings.
This is a method of cervical screening to detect potentially precancerous or cancerous processes in the cervix. Detecting cervical cancer early with a Pap smear gives you a greater chance of full recovery.
A pelvic exam is the physical examination of the external and internal female pelvic organs. During this exam, your healthcare provider will inspect the vagina, cervix, fallopian tubes, vulva, ovaries, and uterus to detect any abnormalities in the reproductive organs.
Symptom and Medication Management
If you are experiencing uncomfortable and lasting symptoms, your doctor may elect to prescribe you medications designed to alleviate those issues. In women experiencing menopause, hormone therapy represents the most effective treatment in mitigating those symptoms.
For hormone-related conditions in young and fertile women, birth control may be prescribed. This is beneficial for women experiencing PCOS or endometriosis. If your condition does not improve, you may be referred to a specialist for further treatment options.