Once a year, put yourself first. Prioritize your health with a well-woman exam. It’s powerful medicine. “We can find precancerous cells long before they become cervical cancer.
That’s huge. It’s priceless,” said Chelsey Kennedy, WHNP, CHI Health Nurse Practitioner. Each visit is unique to your needs and stage in life. “The preventive care we offer and what we talk about depends on the patient,” Kennedy said.
What to expect with a well-woman exam
Head-to-toe physical exam
Everything from headaches to cardiovascular risk to bone health, plus breast cancer and other preventive screenings.
Pap smear, but may not be needed every year
Testing for abnormal cervical cells recommended every 1 to 5 years, depending on results. Testing for the human papillomavirus (HPV) at the same time as Pap smear, or as needed.
Speculum, to see what you can’t
Examination for cervical or vaginal tissue abnormalities and signs of skin cancer on or near the vulva.
Hands-on pelvic exam
Checking for uterine and pelvic masses or discomfort, which is important because no annual screening tests exist for uterine or ovarian cancers.
Time for your questions
From body changes to sexual health. “You should feel comfortable asking your provider anything,” Kennedy said.