Questions to Ask at Your Next Well-Woman Exam

Questions to Ask at Your Next Well-Woman Exam

As a woman, you’re used to your body changing. From your first period all the way up to menopause, your body and your health needs evolve — sometimes dramatically. 

If you want to stay healthy, that means your care plan needs to change. Having regular well-woman visits is one of the best ways to prevent health problems and optimize your lifestyle at every age and every stage of life.

As a leading women’s health practice in Miami, Florida, Eve Medical of Miami offers comprehensive well-woman exams tailored to each woman’s unique needs. The key to getting the most from your exam is knowing which questions to ask. Here are seven to get you started.

7 questions to ask at your next well-woman visit

While these seven questions serve as a jumping-off point, the questions you ask during your exam depend on your age, your lifestyle, your reproductive goals, and other factors. Making a list of questions before your next visit helps ensure you don’t forget anything important.

1. When do I need my next Pap smear or HPV test?

These tests are essential for screening for cervical cancer. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommends that women have Pap smears every three years between the ages of 21 and 65. 

At age 30, you may choose to continue regular Pap smears, or you can opt to have an HPV test or a combined HPV test and Pap smear every five years instead.

2. Do I need to be screened for STDs?

Sexually transmitted diseases are common, and without treatment, they can lead to cancer and other serious health issues, along with fertility problems. Plus, without a diagnosis, you may be spreading that infection to others. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offers guidelines for STD screening based on your age, your lifestyle, your potential exposures, and other factors. During your visit, be entirely honest when discussing your risk factors so our team can recommend the best testing schedule for you.

3. What other health screenings do you recommend?

Your health risks change as you get older, and routine health screenings can help you prevent or limit these risks so you stay healthy. 

Your provider recommends specific screenings based on your age, your personal and family medical history, and other risk factors. Screenings typically include things like urinalysis, blood tests, and other lab work.

4. Do I need a mammogram?

Regular mammography exams play a critical role in diagnosing and treating breast cancer. Depending on your age and individual risk factors, you may need to be screened every 1-2 years, beginning sometime in your 40s. Your provider makes recommendations based on your individual needs.

5. Are my periods normal?

Most women have periods that last 3-5 days, although periods as short as two days or as long as seven aren’t uncommon. Some types of birth control eliminate periods or cause minor “spotting.” 

In a normal menstrual cycle, you can expect your period roughly every 28 days, although even that can range from 21-35 days.

During your exam, you should certainly discuss any changes in your periods, including absence of periods, spotting between periods, very heavy flow, or severe cramping since all of these (and other symptoms) can be a sign of an underlying problem that needs to be evaluated.

6. Should I be concerned about __?

Remember, your well-woman visit isn’t just about your reproductive health. While it does provide an opportunity to ask questions about your periods, menopause, STDs, birth control, and other issues, you can (and should) also ask about other health concerns, like sleep problems, stress, weight gain, or depression. 

7. What can I do to stay healthy until my next well-woman visit?

Sure, your provider is skilled in treatments aimed at preventing medical problems and treating current ailments. But there’s a lot you can do too. 

During your visit, ask your provider for recommendations that can help you optimize your personal health routine. 

Depending on your needs and concerns, that might include guidance to help you sleep better, eat better, move more, or take other actions to ward off disease and improve your physical and mental well-being.

Take control of your wellness

Well-woman exams provide you with the opportunity to play a more active role in your health and well-being by allowing you to ask important questions about specific symptoms and concerns. 

Considering how dramatically a woman’s health needs change throughout her life, having regular well visits is one of the best and smartest things you can do to stay healthy.

To schedule your well-woman exam with the team at Eve Medical of Miami, call 305-707-6096 or book an appointment online today.

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