Annual Gynecological Examinations, Pap Smears, and Breast Exams
High Tide Internal Medicine provides a comprehensive range of wellness services for women. Count on our physicians and the rest of the staff at our practice for annual gynecological examinations that include pap smears and breast exams.
There are benefits to seeing the same medical practice for your gynecological health exams and your regular medical exams. Annual physicals are just as important as well woman exams, and by seeing the same healthcare provider for both, you can take care of both exams within the same visit.
It is recommended that women begin receiving annual gynecological exams when they become sexually active, or once they reach the age of 21. These exams are important for the early detection of cervical and breast cancer, as well as identifying or treating any other health conditions such as sexually transmitted infections. After the first pap test, follow-up tests will be recommended every 1 to 3 years depending on the results of the test and the patient’s health history. Beginning at age 30 women should also begin getting tested for HPV, which can cause cervical cancer, other types of cancer, and other health complications. Based on the results of the patient’s pap and HPV tests, they should continue screening at the frequency their healthcare provider recommends, up until the age of 65.
During your well woman exam, your healthcare provider will also perform a breast exam to check for any visual discoloration, asymmetry, or abnormal dimensions, as well as physically examining the breasts to feel for any physical lumps, bumps, puckering, or abnormal texture. Your doctor will also discuss with you when you should start getting mammograms to screen for breast cancer. It is recommended that most women start receiving annual mammograms at age 40, but this age may be younger based on the patient’s family medical history and personal medical history. Patients should also conduct monthly self-examinations of their breasts and bring any abnormalities to their healthcare provider’s attention.
Your annual gynecological exam is also a good time to discuss your birth control or family planning needs, and update any prescriptions as needed. High Tide Internal Medicine can provide you with both your annual physical and annual gynecological exams, along with a wide range of other wellness services that you may need. Call us at (843) 580-7206 to schedule an appointment with us for all of your healthcare needs.